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The How-To Lounge: Ending Those Obsessive Worries

If you’re anything like me then you probably have the tendency to obsess over little things all day long. I keep wondering things like what did that conversation mean? Was I wrong? The problem with these obsessive thoughts is they don’t get you anywhere, instead you just end up turning around in circles, rehashing the same thing over and over again in your head. To learn some tips for banishing these obsessive thoughts,

  • I actually think that a little obsessing can be beneficial when you’re processing something, so I don’t recommend avoiding it all together. The next time the worrying begins, really embrace it. Give yourself thirty minutes and put all of your energy into it. You might be able to work through it faster that way.
  • Sometimes we get shy when we’re obsessing over something because we don’t want people to know how obsessive we are. However, opening up and leaning on your friends for support is another great way to process your concerns. Another person's point of view could be just the thing you need. Keep in mind that your friends will only have a limited capacity to listen so don't overwhelm them.
  • Write it down. You can either write in a journal recounting the experience or your feelings, or you can write a letter to the person who you’re thinking of. You don’t have to send it, but it can be a great way to get everything out all at once.
  • Get distracted. Start planning something, a dinner party, your sister’s birthday, a work happy hour, anything that will keep you busy.

And of course, time will usually do the trick. Be patient with yourself, and forgiving too!

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bastille_75 bastille_75 8 years
OMG!!!!!!!! I obsess over the details all the time - these are great tips - thanks sugars!!!! B/c I really need to find a way to let things go - I normally will say something to my friends if I think that I may have inadvertently said something rude or that could be misinterpreted, but I rarely confront others when I feel that they have hurt me - instead I just keep it all in, but writing it down is a great idea!!!! Again, thanks!!!!
sweetrae80 sweetrae80 8 years
Beachbarbie-great ideas as well :)
sweetrae80 sweetrae80 8 years
hotstuff-thanks for the book idea, i will def read that when I get a chance. I'm one of those people who blocks stuff out all day when I am busy but then worries at night and loses out on my precious zzzzz's.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I have a lot of neurotic tendencies. The one that drives me the most crazy is how every night, after setting the alarm clock, I repeatedly convince myself that I set the time wrong (PM instead of AM or something) or didn't turn it on properly, so I end up spending the hour or so after I first lie down, getting up and checking the alarm OVER AND OVER. Argh.(The funny thing is, I don't even think my alarm's ever failed to go off--I might oversleep by hitting the Snooze button too many times, but it does always wake me up!)
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I have a lot of neurotic tendencies. The one that drives me the most crazy is how every night, after setting the alarm clock, I repeatedly convince myself that I set the time wrong (PM instead of AM or something) or didn't turn it on properly, so I end up spending the hour or so after I first lie down, getting up and checking the alarm OVER AND OVER. Argh. (The funny thing is, I don't even think my alarm's ever failed to go off--I might oversleep by hitting the Snooze button too many times, but it does always wake me up!)
Korsgal Korsgal 8 years
ugh, i get these all the time. Great tips though. i usually give myself 5 minutes to think about the worst thing that could happen. And then I take a walk
nicachica nicachica 8 years
thanks BeachBarbie! those are some really great tips, especially the first about worrying about things that never happen! i do that ALL the time and i get so annoyed with myself for thinking of possible scenarios and then that gets me even MORE worked up. sigh, i'm getting stressed just thinking about it! okay, deep breath...and i'm done. ;)
nicachica nicachica 8 years
thanks BeachBarbie! those are some really great tips, especially the first about worrying about things that never happen! i do that ALL the time and i get so annoyed with myself for thinking of possible scenarios and then that gets me even MORE worked up. sigh, i'm getting stressed just thinking about it! okay, deep breath...and i'm done. ;)
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 8 years
Another tip is knowing..what we usually worry about never happens. Also, stress ages you..try to keep your facial muscles relaxed in stressful times (this is another reason not to stress). It's one thing to be stressed, but I don't want it showing up on my face. Oh and another tip is too smile. Just smiling itself changes your mood..try it. :) Oh, and yoga is also wonderful...so is praying, exercising, stepping outside in the sun, petting your pet, hugs from loved ones..I could go on. I think I handle stress pretty well..at least at this moment I am. lol
hotstuff hotstuff 8 years
Read, "A New Earth" it teaches you how to get rid of those constant thoughts in your head and how it could be affecting your life.
erratic-assassin erratic-assassin 8 years
screw it...I vent. and I get crazy looks, but eh! I FEEL BETTER!
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 8 years
I am always obsessing over SOMETHING. And it seems to be getting worse. I'm starting to get the idea that I *look* for things to obsess about, since maybe it's been so long since I've relaxed and un-stressed. At this point, I recently lost weight due to stress...and I'm in the process of gaining it back, which is my new obsession. Ugh.
rlveronica rlveronica 8 years
Thanks, Dear!
ann418 ann418 8 years
I do this ALL THE TIME!!! I hate it, but have learned to deal with it (with help from some very good friends). I've learned that everyone does dumb things. I've gotten better and judging reactions, and can usually pick up on something right away. I also realize that when other people do stuff that I would normally get really worried about, I usually don't mind. I figure the majority of the world will not hate me for saying one wrong thing (and I'm a nice person, it's usually not THAT bad). Also, like the article says, I've learned that there are some things to worry about. And you should pay attention to those few things. A lot of times, after you filter out the unnecessary obsessing, you are worrying for a reason. Talk to someone and figure out exactly why you are bothered, and the problem usually goes away. Talking to someone always helps me. Girls obsess over many, many different things. Chances are, they'll understand. :)
ann418 ann418 8 years
I do this ALL THE TIME!!! I hate it, but have learned to deal with it (with help from some very good friends). I've learned that everyone does dumb things. I've gotten better and judging reactions, and can usually pick up on something right away. I also realize that when other people do stuff that I would normally get really worried about, I usually don't mind. I figure the majority of the world will not hate me for saying one wrong thing (and I'm a nice person, it's usually not THAT bad). Also, like the article says, I've learned that there are some things to worry about. And you should pay attention to those few things. A lot of times, after you filter out the unnecessary obsessing, you are worrying for a reason. Talk to someone and figure out exactly why you are bothered, and the problem usually goes away. Talking to someone always helps me. Girls obsess over many, many different things. Chances are, they'll understand. :)
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Yes, I have neurotic tendencies. :)
melizzle melizzle 8 years
Great tips! A bit of worry can be a good thing, helping to keep you on track and get certain tasks done. Not to be an alarmist, but sometimes, obsessive thoughts that permeate every aspect of your life can be a sign of an anxiety disorder. If your thoughts are having a significant negative impact on your relationships with others, consider seeking professional help.
melizzle melizzle 8 years
Great tips! A bit of worry can be a good thing, helping to keep you on track and get certain tasks done.Not to be an alarmist, but sometimes, obsessive thoughts that permeate every aspect of your life can be a sign of an anxiety disorder. If your thoughts are having a significant negative impact on your relationships with others, consider seeking professional help.
mnp mnp 8 years
I think my obsession gets worse over time. I don't think I have gotten this stressed out until now...sheesh! And yes, your friends can only take so much of listening to you vent/complain/talk.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
I obess too!It's really horrible sometimes and a bad habit to kick.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
I obess too! It's really horrible sometimes and a bad habit to kick.
Leanne1078 Leanne1078 8 years
I'm almost always obsessing over something...lately I have been trying to gain more control over my worrying by telling myself "This is how you are going to feel about it" and trying to stay on track with that. So far, it's actually been working! I've been able to convince myself out of stressing over some pretty big things. Even my boyfriend noticed!
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