Ever unlocked your car in the parking lot of the grocery store with a big ole bag of groceries in your hand and looked down to find you just stepped in a wad of gum? Gum that has been baking on the asphalt to a nice stretchy glob of stickiness? Then you spend 10 minutes trying to get the mess off your shoe while the ice cream in your grocery bag slowly turns to mush. Maybe you succeeded in getting a bit off, but you also did an excellent job of spreading around what remained into an even wider area of that disgusting suction you now have with every step.
That is how OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) thoughts operate. Anxious thoughts feel sticky. And no matter how hard you try, they remain the focus of your thinking. No matter how much you instruct yourself to think of something else or get yourself so busy to avoid them, the thoughts come back. Every time.
Are Thoughts Or Feelings Facts?
You may have been told to distract yourself as a way to stop the anxious thinking. And sure, distractions may be temporarily helpful, but the mind responds in a manner to protect you, or at least your amygdala does. Its only job is to alert you to any conceivable danger, whether false or real. That includes anxious thoughts. The uncertainties of life are many, and usually you can ferret out the ideas that actually need attention, except with anxious thinking. It makes any uncertainty feel threatening. And that makes certain thoughts or feelings feel dangerous. That makes it tough to hold on to the truth—that neither thoughts or feelings are facts.
If you want to learn how to manage those sticky, anxious thoughts, on a more lasting basis, shoot me an email or go to my contact page. I am here in your neighborhood and ready to help.