Health is wellness of the body, the mind, and the soul; their alignment with one another is the art of living well.
Wisdom is understanding of the self, others, and the nature of things; it is essential to living as if everything is a miracle.
A Compulsive Mind
We all have obsessive thoughts every now and then. This is normal. It is just the extent of the obsession that may make them abnormal, causing the mind to become compulsive. A compulsive mind is incapable of dealing with obsessive thoughts that make it problematic. Controlling obsessive thoughts, especially unwanted and unwarranted, is important for holistic health and healing of the mind. The reason is that thoughts may give "reality" which may lead to actions or inactions; accordingly, obsessive thoughts may distort thoughts and impair the thinking mind.
The human mind is very complex. An average person may have some 4,000 thoughts a day, and these random thoughts are spontaneous with no connection to the current task that an individual is doing. Unwanted thoughts come and go, drifting through the human mind.
So, what are obsessions? Obsessions are recurrent thoughts of doubts-such as "what if...?" or "did I or did I not...?"; or impulses to do or see something-such as craving to eat something one is not supposed to eat or watching pornography. We all experience these thoughts or impulses, but most of us can overcome them by simply dismissing them. However, in a compulsive mind, these thoughts may turn into obsessions when they become overtly repulsive, unwanted, uncontrollable, and recurrent.
Obsessive thoughts are unhealthy, because they may lead to compulsion, which is the inability to stop the obsessive thoughts, that is, one is compelled to act or do something against one's will or better judgment, however repugnant and objectionable it may be.
Some of the characteristics of obsessive thoughts are as follows:
(1) Faulty interpretation of the implication of the thought that occurs
(2) Inflated accountability for an action or a result pertaining to the thought
(3) Exaggerated threat from the thought
(4) Intolerance of any uncertainty implicated in the thought
(5) Obsessive thoughts create undue anxiety and aggravate distorted thinking.
So, what do you do if you have a compulsive mind with obsessive thoughts?
Do not attempt to consciously control them. The reason is that the more you strive to control a thought, the more difficulty you will have with it.
Research has shown that it is almost impossible to suppress unwanted thoughts under the following circumstances:
(1) When you are trying to suppress unwanted thoughts
(2) When you are under stress, especially time stress
(3) When you are depressed
(4) When you have to concentrate on a number of tasks in addition to suppressing the unwanted thoughts
In other words, a compulsive mind with obsessive thoughts has much to do with stress coming from different sources that generate distorted and unwanted thoughts; the more one strives to dispel them, the more recurrent they come, and thus forming a vicious cycle.
TIPS: Keep yourself free from the consequences of failed mental control. The more you try to suppress unwanted thoughts, the more meaningful they become for you, and the more difficult it is for you to get rid of them. To get rid of unwanted thoughts, learn how to meditate. In meditation, thoughts drift in and out, but you learn to focus on your breathing or an object, such as a flickering candle flame, in order to dispel intrusive and unwanted thoughts. In addition, guided meditation relaxes both the body and the mind.Hypnosis is another way to control your mind.
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Copyright© by Stephen Lau
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