So, have you ever engaged in obsessive, scary thinking, telling yourself all kinds of things that got you all worked up, scared, and worried?
Have you ever found yourself turning to food to try to quell those scary, obsessive thoughts and feelings?
Week 10 – Attacking Anxiety and Depression
Wow, we’re already at week 10 in my 15-week experiment with Lucinda Bassett’s Attacking Anxiety and Depression program. What was that you said? You haven’t read the previous 9 weeks in my series? Well that’s ok, just head on over and read the introduction first, which is the most important post to read before going any further so you’ll have the background on why I chose to experiment on myself with this program.
You’ll learn exactly how this relates to your weight loss and fitness journey and why releasing chronic stress and anxiety in your life (which, by the way, leads to depression) is essential in helping you stop using food to soothe yourself and feed your overweight.
What Is Obsessive Thinking?
Simply put, obsessive thinking is thinking the same thought over and over again like a broken record. You get stuck on a particular thought, a subject, or maybe you obsess over one little thing that you said earlier in the day. Whatever it is that you obsess about it’s the same thought/subject repeated again and again.
I know, now you’re thinking, “why would anyone think the same thought over and over again”, right? I mean, it doesn’t sound very productive does it? Well there’s a valid reason that you or anyone else would do this although you may not even be aware of the purpose that obsessive thinking serves:
There’s something else in your life that you do not want to deal with and the obsessive thinking keeps you from focusing on what’s really bothering you.
It could be a problem at work, a problem in your relationship, or….you could have a problem with compulsive overeating, emotional eating, or overweight that you don’t want to deal with so instead you obsessively think about something else that is unrelated.
And, if you obsess about your weight it’s even more likely that the core issue is what drives you to overeat in the first place and that is the real issue that must be dealt with while in the meantime your obsessive thinking keeps you “safe”.
So What’s The Point?
The main point first and foremost is gaining awareness. When you become aware and conscious of what you’ve previously been doing unconsciously then you have the beginnings of a healing. If instead you continue to do the same thing over and over again and all the while think that you’d like to have a different outcome, well it just isn’t going to happen. 😉 However, with the awareness of why you do what you do then you have something to work with.
Becoming aware of why you scare yourself with your thoughts and why you think obsessively gives you an edge and will help you deal with the reality of the situation at hand. Essentially, you are regaining your personal power, which is really what you need to do when going through the process of changing your lifestyle to get healthy and fit – you must reclaim the power that you have been giving to food by thinking that food could heal all of your woes and ills when in actuality it’s only a physical object that cannot possibly heal an emotional, mental, or spiritual issue.
What I Learned in Week 10
I’ve heard of obsessive thinking before and I can say that I’ve done this myself, for example getting stuck on a rote of going over and over something I said and thought I shouldn’t have said (can you relate?). The trick though, is to look behind the curtain of your obsessive thoughts to get to the real issue that is bugging you. Once you do that then you’ve got something to work with and you’ll be much more productive than if you turn to food to try to calm your anxiety caused by obsessive thinking.
So, getting back to what I learned – week 10 reminded me of the fact that whatever it is that you’re obsessing about or scaring yourself with (imagined illnesses, disaster, catostrophic future events, etc.) is only a cover up for something else that you do not want to deal with in your life. Additionally I got out my pad of paper and wrote down all of the things that have been bothering me and guess what – I had been obsessing today about something I had said in a conversation with one of my friends but that wasn’t what was really bothering me, it was something else altogether.
Remember, a pad of paper and a pen can really be your best friends – you’ve heard me say this so many times before but there is tremendous power in writing it down. Not only in writing down your goals but journaling your thoughts and feelings (instead of giving in to emotional eating!).
If you find yourself obsessing often and/or feeding yourself all kinds of scary thoughts there really is a “way out” of these habits. Some mistakenly think that obsessive thinking is out of their control but it is another bad habit, just like negative thinking is.
I am really liking the Attacking Anxiety and Depression program and it’s proven to be a great at-home action program to help overcome a mountain of stress. I started this experiment on myself for a few different reasons (outlined in my intro to this series), one being that I’d been under a load of stress.
As it is after 10 weeks of using myself as a subject in my self-experiment I’m happy to report that I’ve noticed a marked decrease in my stress level and the less stress you have the less you’ll be leaning on food to release your stress because the overwhleming stress isn’t there – sounds like a good plan to me!
Photo by whiskeyboytx
Does Obsessive Thinking Drive You to Overeat?