How to get rid of obsessive thoughts: let’s change our way of thinking

Often in life we ​​find ourselves being the involuntary victims of a series of thoughts and beliefs that take up space in our heads, with negative effects on our self-esteem and effectiveness. They can be fixed thoughts that block us and prevent us from moving forward naturally, negative explanations we give ourselves of what is happening and make us insecure, beliefs that keep us steady and hinder us in making decisions.

When this happens, the first instinct we have is to believe that there is something wrong at a deep level within us, and that therefore it is necessary to dig, perhaps within an in-depth path of traditional psychotherapy, in search of reason. unconscious that generated that thought or belief in us. On the other hand, this was the main approach of psychology until the 1950s, guided by the belief that behind every human behavior or mental condition there is a deep unconscious basis, which must be brought out for the problem to be solved.

The pleasant novelty, which psychological studies discovered around the 1950s, is that very often this is not the case. On the contrary, in most cases the fixed thoughts, dysfunctional beliefs and explanations that damage our self-esteem they reside exclusively in our cognitive functioning, not in the unconscious. In other words, they are small “system errors” in our way of thinking, on a much more superficial level. And it is enough to work in a conscious and logical way on our way of thinking (the so-called “conscious thinking”) to make them gradually disappear. Without them recurring, constant concern of those who suffer those situations. This is precisely the discovery of modern psychology: if we work on the surface, we correct the way of thinking that hinders our well-being and we discover that what was afflicting us no longer returns, this is the proof that there was no unconscious problem in which dig with long psychotherapeutic paths. A quick change of perspective on a cognitive level is enough to get better quickly.

How to increase our self-esteem: we understand how it works.

This is exactly the field of action in which life coaching represents an effective solution to the common difficulties of our life, more than the classic psychological approach. As a life coach, I have often found rapid and visible improvements by acting only on our simple way of seeing things, without that classic work that “goes deep” in the human psyche, and many of my clients have confirmed that they find my help the most effective of the paths psychotherapy they had tried previously. If you feel that you are stuck within fixed thoughts, negative beliefs or vicious circles that lead to always mulling over the same issues, contact me and let’s understand together how coaching could be the easiest way out.

Generally speaking, there are mental steps that can be taken whenever we need to change our way of thinking. They are described in a clear and simplified way in Martin Seligman’s book Learning Optimism, a book that has always inspired coaching. Let’s see together how it is possible to change fixed thoughts, simply by acting on them at a cognitive level:

  1. We identify the emergence of automatic thoughts: this is the first, decisive step of awareness. In difficult situations, thoughts about us or about our life often emerge immediately and instinctively, which go almost unnoticed. Thoughts like “they all happen to me” or “I’m not good at what I do” or “I always make bad decisions” or “I always fall in love with the wrong people”. The first step is to notice that these thoughts emerge automatically.
  2. We learn to fight automatic thoughts with logic: this is the heart of the approach we are talking about. Instead of giving up on thinking something because it comes to us instinctively, we must learn to force ourselves to question that thought, challenging it with contrary evidence that we are able to adduce with our logic. Factual demonstrations that that thought/belief is disproportionate, logical reasoning that refutes its validity. Using what we are able to observe in our life and our logical abilities, any obsessive thoughts can be fought.
  3. We learn to find alternative explanations: Once we have weakened the fixed thought in the previous step, the natural thing to do is to identify a new way to explain what is happening to us. In this we obviously use our character, our emotionality and our logic, but always keeping in mind the general objective, which is to live better, to feel good. We must seek the explanation that reassures us, that allows us to move forward in a calm manner, whenever automatic thinking resurfaces.
  4. Let’s get distracted from depressing thoughts: the characteristic of fixed thoughts that affect our self-esteem is that they can lead us to a more or less strong depressive condition. The instinct to ruminate over the same thoughts over and over doesn’t help, so we need to be able to distinguish the spiral of automatic thoughts when it comes and put a practical stop to it. Clapping our hands in front of our eyes, dedicating ourselves to something else, engaging in something that normally gives us well-being or gratifies us.
  5. We learn to question the beliefs that depress us: the crucial point here is to convince ourselves that we are not passive victims of those thoughts, of those beliefs, but we are the ones who choose whether we really want to live in the sign of those beliefs or not. If we choose to keep them away, we can make our life more enjoyable and worth living, without ballast that constantly drags us into difficult conditions to manage. Feeling good is often our choice: you just need to have the right tools to realize it and to make the right choice.

What we are talking about is a way of acting in the face of obsessive thoughts that may seem difficult or revolutionary, but which instead comes to life in a very simple and natural way if guided by a good life coach. It turns out very quickly that the overwhelming feelings of being a victim of your own thoughts change very quickly, and that with new tools we become able to fight them every time they return. If you think you have difficulty managing fixed thoughts and living well, let’s talk about it together and find out how you can get better.