Reply To: Obsessive Thoughts

Paul McCabe
PSTEC Pro and Forum Moderator

    Hi Lacy,

    Thanks for your post and for sharing your story.

    Firstly, I find that it can be useful to think of thoughts as being like movies. You may watch a horror, comedy, drama, a Western or any other type of movie genre, but they are still JUST movies and we react to them based on our context. To put it another way, I think it can be helpful to know we are not our thoughts, we are the person having our thought.

    Please note that many people will have thoughts popping up that make no sense at all…on the conscious level.

    In our thoughts, we are effectively the actor, director, editor, writer and cinematographer. We can also be the “movie critic.”  Yes, we can watch our thoughts, accept them or consciously change the content. That could be a separate post, yet I felt it useful to mention it.

    What can really shift things is removing any embarrassment you feel about any habitual thoughts you experience. I recommend using the Click Tracks for this purpose. Useful ways to engage with this and to make it more tangible might include:

    – imagining telling someone about the thoughts you are having and imagine that they are critical/dismissive of you for engaging with the thoughts.

    Once you have totally cleared the embarrassment, I expect you will feel much more free, comfortable talking about this and ready to move ahead.

    Then I suggest you clear all the anxiety you feel when you imagine that you will NOT be in control. Imagine:

    – Having to make do with attire that doesn't suit you

    – Going out and not being able to change your attire.

    – This being as bad as possible. Imagine, for instance, that you only have one outfit in one colour and do not have the means or opportunity to change it.

    – Not having control in other contexts

    Bundle these scenarios into one and run the CT while trying to bring up the unwanted feelings, or run them separately through each play of the CT. Use your own discretion.

    To access this further, layering in some suggestions using PSTEC Positive can be hugely beneficial. You could focus on the safety aspects. Without speaking to you to really check whether these resonate with you, suggestions like the following can prove highly effective in shifting your Mind Model:

    “No matter which outfit I choose, I am safe”

    “It is OK to wear the same outfit for a day”

    “Maybe I can be happy with my original choice of clothes”

    “Perhaps I can relax more on our days out”

    “I can feel safe within myself, no matter which thought pops into my head”

    “If people judge me based on my appearance, I can feel OK with that”

    “I can feel great even when things are imperfect”

    Please let us know how you get on, Lacy.

    Paul  :)

    Paul McCabe – PSTEC Master Practitioner

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