Obsessive thinking is an emotional defense that, like all of the various manifestations of codependency, is dysfunctional. Being in our heads - thinking, fantasizing, ruminating - is a defense we adapted in childhood to help us disassociate from the emotional pain we were experiencing.
It is dysfunctional because it keeps us focused on the future or the past - we miss out on being alive today.
It is dysfunctional because our attempts to escape unpleasant feelings causes us to generate more unpleasant feelings.
Worry - which is negative fantasizing - is a reaction to fear of the unknown which creates more fear, which creates more worry, which creates more fear, etc.
This fear is not a normal human fear of the unknown. It is codependent fear: a distorted, magnified, virulent, mutated species of fear caused by the poisonous combination of a false belief that being human is shameful with a polarized (black and white, right and wrong) perspective of life.
This self perpetuating, self destructive type of obsessive thinking feeds not only on fear, but on shaming ourselves for feeling the fear.
The disease of codependency is a dysfunctional emotional defense system adapted by our egos to help us survive.
The polarized perspective of life we were programmed with in early childhood, causes us to be afraid of making a mistake, of doing life "wrong." At the core of our being,we feel unlovable and unworthy - because our parents felt unlovable and unworthy - and we spend great amounts of energy trying to keep our shameful defectiveness a secret.
So, we shame ourselves for feeling fear, which adds gasoline to the inferno of fear that is driving us. The shame and fear that drive obsession becomes so painful and 'crazy making' that at some point we have to find some way to shut down our minds for a little while - drugs or alcohol or food or sleep or television, etc.
Obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior is caused by, and fed by, fear and shame. The feeling that the world will come to an end if ____ doesn't happen, or that it has come to an end because ____ happened, is a feeling coming from the wounded inner child. It is the result of early childhood emotional trauma - and the subconscious programming adapted by our egos to help us survive at a time when we were helpless and powerless.
An adult is not helpless and powerless. We are, however, powerless to know that, as long as we are unconsciously reacting to repressed emotional energy and subconscious programming. It is impossible to see our self or life clearly when we are caught up in trauma dramas (internally and externally) that feel life threatening. In our codependency, we are in denial of our emotions at the same time we are allowing the feelings of the wounded child within to define and dictate our lives.
Love is the answer to obsession - but not the love of another person. Learning to be Loving to our self - and remembering that there is a Loving Higher Power, is the best way I have ever found to stop obsessive thinking.
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