10 ways to combat obsessive thoughts 💭

Aug 24, 2022

I’ve noticed a bit of a recurring theme lately across my coaching conversations. I am hearing a lot about the need to manage those frustrating negative thoughts that keep popping up, the overthinking, the ruminating…

It got me thinking about what can help with this and I wanted to share my top 10 tips for combating obsessive thoughts with you below:

1. Use visualisation  - actually imagine your thoughts are the tabs on your computer and visualise you closing down the thought by clicking the red cross in the top corner or by putting it in the bin.

2. Distract yourself - try heading out for a walk, reading a book/watching a series or giving a friend a call.

3. Address the problem - write down what is coming up for you and map out the small steps it takes to help you to address it. 

4. Share the thoughts with someone you trust. Just speaking things out can have a huge impact on our mental wellbeing.

5. Make a list of 10 strengths that you have. Focus this energy on yourself in a positive light. If you find this difficult, think about how others would describe you. 

6. After addressing the problem (point 3) - take one small action to move you in this direction. Start small and just pick one thing to act on right now.

7. Meditate for 10 minutes and just allow yourself to be. Focus on your breathing. I love to set a 10 minute alarm on my phone and listen to this, while I concentrate on breathing in for 4, hold for 4 and out for 4 (seconds). 

8. Speak to a/your coach who will be able to help you understand your triggers and the basis of your thoughts. You will then be able to consider what you want to feel instead and create an action plan to help you to get there. 

9. Write down your thoughts - allow yourself some time to just let it all flow out. You don't have to re-read it or even keep it if you don't want to. Just allow how you're feeling to come out of your head and put it down on paper.

10. Give yourself permission to accept the thought that you're having. Sometimes we can be fighting with ourselves and when we just accept that our thoughts come and go, it can help us to let go of focusing on them. Give yourself permission to let the thought be. 

I hope these tips have been helpful, these are just a handful of ideas that I have found helpful. What else could you add to this list that helps with overthinking? I would love to know.