Worrying, Racing and Disturbing Thoughts
Worrying, obsessive or racing thoughts are some of the symptoms of anxiety that can bother people the most. They do not understand how they can have thoughts that seem so scary and come with such impact. I have heard people say they fear the beginning of OCD, that they have awful thoughts about those closest to them or that they feel that they are ‘going mad’ and that they cannot control these disturbing thoughts that seem to come without them even thinking them. The reason you seem to have your attention on yourself all day and it feels like there are numerous thoughts running through your mind is because of all your confusion about how you feel. You go around in circles all day long, looking for answers and trying to find a way out of this hell. Some people may even stay up all night, reflecting on the whole day and trying to figure it all out. Mostly these are negative or worrying thoughts and that is why they seem to come automatically and with so much force. Worrying eventually becomes a habit. When you are in an anxious state, emotions seem to be ten-fold. Everything magnifies. A little problem becomes massive and something that you could dismiss when you were healthy, sticks around all day.
You may find your thoughts just carry on all day as you hit one brick wall after another trying to find freedom from how you feel. The harder you try to find a way out, the more you worry about your current state and so the more you mentally wear yourself out. This leads to you feeling like your mind is out of control and that you now have no control over whether you think or not. You just can’t stop thinking if you wanted to. The noise in your head seems constant and causes you a great deal of disturbance.
How do I control my thoughts?
The simple answer is that you can’t. You can’t control your thoughts any more than you can control your heartbeat. If you could, then you would be able to think what you wish and stop unwanted thoughts coming, which we know through experience is not possible. Understanding this one fact is the first step to being free of obsessive thinking as you can now stop trying to control your thinking. You also stop the pointless pursuit of trying to quieten or shut your mind up. Trying to control your thoughts or shut the mind up just requires more thinking, so all you do is create more of what you are trying to get rid of. Your mind thinks, not you
It is your mind that generates thoughts, not you. Thoughts are just energy passing through. If you are at peace, then your thoughts have a peaceful flavour to them. If you are angry, then they have an angry flavour to them, if you are fearful, then they have a fearful flavour to them and if you are anxious then they have an anxious flavour to them. This goes along with the fact that they are just energy, they are formed through the energy you are feeling. So, this is why when you are anxious, your thoughts have an anxious/worrying flavour to them. This does not make them real; in fact it tells you how false and how unimportant they are. That they are just energy forms passing through your consciousness. What continually changes can never be real.
Why do they come at such speed and frequency?
The thoughts come this way because of your constant obsession with over-thinking, through the need to keep going over things, worrying about things and trying to fix things. It is your over use of the mind and its thinking process that gives it momentum and forms a habit of thinking. This is why your mind can feel out of control and frantic, like you just want to switch the ‘off’ button, but can’t. The more attention and belief you give to these thoughts, then the more impact they have. Also, the more focus and belief you give to your negative thoughts, the more fuel you give to them and the cycle continues. So, you cannot stop unwanted thoughts, you can only pull your interest and belief from them. This way they have no fuel with which to continue and the energy form has no option but to wither away. It really is just pure physics when you understand it.
So, there is no need to try to change or rid yourself of scary/negative thoughts, this is completely pointless and counterproductive. All you have to do when your thoughts are obsessive or negative is to allow them to be negative and obsessive, but pull your interest and belief away from them. Just let them run freely in the background and they will run out of momentum all by themselves with no involvement from you. Without your belief and interest, then they have no fuel to survive and in time will start to fall away. Also, the less you get involved with your thinking, the more the momentum in your mind will die down and the habit of over thinking will diminish.
Don’t ever think, “I must not think that”. Let all thoughts come and do not run away from any of them. See them for what they are – thoughts/energy forms, exaggerated because of the way you feel. They can do you no harm and they mean nothing. Once you stop worrying and going over things, your mind will finally get the break it needs and its momentum can then slow down all by itself. It does not need any intervention from you. If you want a bike to stop, then you stop pedalling; you don’t DO anything to make it stop. It is the same principle. So, accept that at first your thoughts may still run for a while until the momentum in the mind runs out. Just allow the mind to be like a free running computer. Let it throw out what it wishes and think as much as it wishes while you go about your day, giving no importance to its noise and antics. This is the way to give it the break it so craves and then it will come to its own resting place. Never get into a battle with your mind or try to force it to be different or to quieten down through any kind of force or willpower. If you ever try to battle with your mind, you will always lose. The content of your mind is not what is important; it is your constant involvement and fascination with it that keeps fuelling it.