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How to get over an obsession.

An obsession is like having a tunnel vision: you lose the ability to see all other things outside the subject of the obsession. An obsession becomes part of your daily life, and it is related to fear; that makes it different from an addiction, which means that someone is never satisfied, unless he can immerse himself in the subject of his addiction. [1] It is not easy to get over an obsession, but once you know how to stop feeding the obsession and spend your energy on new people and interests, liberation is within reach. Go to Step 1 to learn how to take control of your obsession so that it no longer controls your thoughts and actions.

1-Free your mind

1-Take some distance from the source of your obsession. If you are obsessed with something or someone, it becomes difficult to think of something else if the subject is always close by. The closer you are to your obsession, the harder it is to put it out of your mind. By taking physical distance from the obsession, you can also take mental distance. It will be difficult in the beginning, but you will soon notice that the curse of the obsession will gradually be lifted.

  • If you are obsessed with a person, that is a sign that the relationship is not healthy. Limit contact with this person.
  • Spend time on things that distract you, and try to find ways to continue with someone else or something better. You may be obsessed with a certain pastime, such as your favorite computer game. If that’s the case, keep the game out of sight by removing it from your computer, or give the game console to a friend until the obsession is over.

2-Stop feeding it. Feeding an obsession may give you a good feeling in the beginning, so it can be difficult to stop that habit. Just thinking about the source of your obsession reinforces the control that you have over you. To break the obsession, you have to starve.

For example, if you are obsessed with a celebrity, don’t talk to your friends about it anymore. Stop looking at her Twitter messages and no longer imagine what it would be like to go out with him / her. The more space you give the obsession in your head, the more space it will claim.

It will not be easy to stop feeding your obsession. Perhaps you are going to fool yourself by saying that you are only going to look at her Facebook page once before you stop. But if you want to get rid of the obsession, you’ll have to do it right away, just when you’d like to give in to it. Sometimes an obsession is so strong that you can’t get rid of it, no matter how much you try to starve it. No matter how you try, your thoughts always end up with that one subject. If that’s the case, don’t be too strict on yourself – you can defeat your obsession, it will only take a little more time.

3-Distract yourself from your obsessive thoughts. Fighting your obsessive thoughts is easier said than done. If it feels so good to think and talk about your favorite subject, why would you want to stop? Remember why you want to get rid of the obsession: then you can look further and enjoy all the beautiful things that life has to offer. If the obsessive thoughts start to rise again, make sure you have some good distraction so that you do not fall into the same trap again. [4] Here are some good ways to distract yourself:

  • Go and do some physical exercises that also keep your brain busy. Running and walking may not be the most suitable, because then you can still think about your obsession.
  • Try a team sport, climb in a climbing hall or something else that involves both body and mind. Fiction is also a great diversion.
  • Go read a book or watch a movie that has nothing to do with your current obsession. At the moment, when your mind wanders and you need immediate distraction, you can set up music, call a friend (to talk about anything but your obsession), read an interesting article or get to work.

4-Focus on things that you have neglected. If you have an obsession, you don’t have much time for other things – such as your work, relationships, and other interests or hobbies. Once you start spending time on other things in your life, you have less time to be busy with your obsession.

Restoring relationships that you have neglected is a great way to overcome an obsession with them. Your friends and family will be happy to have you back, and they can give you interesting new ideas, problems and dramas to keep you busy. It can be nice to finally think of something else again! Many people notice that it can help to work a lot if you want to get over an obsession. Whatever work you do, you try to completely collapse.

5-Learn to live in the now. Are you a dreamer? You can waste hours and hours by thinking of someone or something that makes you obsessed. But if you sit in one place while your thoughts are always somewhere else, you miss what’s going on in front of you. When you are ready to get rid of the obsession, you can learn to be attentive. That means that you are fully present, instead of thinking about the past or the future.

Use all the senses and really feel what is happening around you. What do you smell, see, hear and taste right now? Watch what happens in front of you, instead of always thinking about other things. It can help to repeat a mantra if you find yourself getting obsessive thoughts. Repeating something as simple as “Breathe” or “Stay in the now” or “I am here” can bring your thoughts back to the present moment.

2-Learn new habits

1-Strengthen your relationships with others. If you are obsessed with a person, it is best to spend time with someone else. All the energy that you have put into the object of the obsession, you can now focus on getting to know someone else. Register for a course, have a chat when you walk the dog in the park or get to know your current friends even better. By getting to know others better you will realize that the world has much more to offer than that one obsession.

Do not compare the new people in your life with the person you are obsessed with. Try to enjoy the unique characteristics of the others, instead of trying to mold them into the shape of that one person. Even if your obsession is not a person, meeting new people can help a lot. They can offer you perspectives and ideas that you have never encountered before.

2-Make adjustments to your daily routines. If your obsession is partly nourished by your habits, such as taking the same route to work every day because you then come close to your ex, it’s time for change. Think carefully: which habits must be broken because you remain hopelessly obsessed by them? You probably know the answer right away. Do your best to change your routine – it can be difficult in the beginning, but you will soon notice a difference in how strong your obsession is. Here are some changes that you can make to your habits:

  • Take a different route to work or school. Work out in another gym, or choose a different day so that you don’t meet the person you’re obsessed with.
  • Start the day by meditating, jogging or walking the dog, instead of immediately checking your e-mail and browsing all the usual websites.
  • Go to other places of entertainment at the weekend.
  • Listen to other music while you work

3 Change your life. If you are tired of an obsession controlling your thoughts and actions, then take matters back into your hands by making some personal changes.

  • It may sound dramatic, but sometimes you have to change something to convince yourself that you are capable of it.
  • Do something in your life that symbolizes your obsession and make it feel fresh and new again.
  • For you, a “makeover” can mean that you change your appearance. If you’ve always had long hair, because you think the person you’re obsessed with likes it, why don’t you cut it off now?

Take a short head that has nothing to do with him. If you browse the same websites time and time again, it might be time to give your room or office a makeover. Set the furniture differently and buy some new things. Tidy up your desk and decorate it with new photos or other knick-knacks. Throw away everything that reminds you of your obsession and surround yourself with things that can help you move forward.

4-Talk to a therapist. Sometimes an obsession is so deep that it’s hard to get rid of it on your own. If it seems that you cannot control the obsession, and if it hinders your ability to become happy, make an appointment with a therapist. A professional caregiver can provide you with tools to regain control of your thoughts so that you can continue with your life.

If you have certain recurring thoughts that just don’t want to go away, or if you have to perform special actions over and over again of yourself, you may have an anxiety disorder called compulsive neurosis. In that case it is important to seek help so that you can get therapy and medication to treat compulsive neurosis.

3-Turning an obsession into something positive

1 Make it something productive. Not all obsessions are bad; in fact, many people are trying to find their “passion” in life – the one thing they want to learn more and work harder for. If you have an obsession that fills you for a purpose, most people will find you lucky.

For example, if you are busy day and night with astronomy, and you want nothing more than to read and learn about it, that obsession can lead to a successful career.

Even though the obsession does not lead to something as prestigious as a Masters in Astronomy, you might still be able to transform it into something productive. Perhaps you are obsessed with the latest gossip about celebrities, and you do nothing but read gossip leaves. Why don’t you start a gossip blog or a Twitter account where you can share your discoveries?

You can also use the obsession as a motivation to develop yourself. If you are obsessed with someone who doesn’t see you, you can decide to change bad habits that work against you. Let it be a reason to get up early so you can run before you go to work, or do all your homework so you can say something smart in class.

2-Let your obsession be your creative muse. If your obsession is a person, you can use that energy to make something beautiful. The best literature, art and music from history are rooted in an obsession. If there is someone to keep thinking about, pour your unrequited feelings into a poem, song or painting.

3-Spend time with people who share the obsession. An obsession can seem like a problem until you discover a group of people who love the exact same thing. Whatever your obsession is, you’re probably not the only one. Find other people who love what you love so that you can share information and talk about it endlessly.

Whether you are a big fan of a certain football club, staying up all night to play your favorite game or all movies with a certain want to see an actress, chances are that there are more people who feel that way.

4-Don’t let the obsession limit your life. An obsession is only a problem if it absorbs all your time and energy, so that you can do nothing more. You are the only one who can determine if it is too much. If the subject of your obsession gives you great pleasure, and you still have time for your friends and to meet your basic needs, it might be fine. But if you feel that your obsession is limiting you in any way, try to extinguish the flame and enjoy other things for a while.

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