13 Tips to Manage Your Fearful and Obsessive Thoughts

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There are times that we encounter fearful thoughts that can be difficult to manage. For some people, the more they try to get rid of the thoughts, the stronger the thoughts become and the more difficult they become to manage.

Here is a list of techniques that you can use to help manage your fearful and negative thoughts.

1. Don’t dwell on your fearful thoughts. The first thing a person must do is not to dwell or focus on the fear-provoking thought when it comes. The more a person tries to reason out the thought or focus on the fear behind the thought, the stronger the thought becomes. The next time you encounter an obsessive thought, get into the practice of not dwelling on it.

2. Visualize a red stop sign in your mind when you encounter a fear-provoking thought. When the negative thought comes, a person should think of a red stop sign that serves as a reminder to stop focusing on that thought and to think of something else. A person can then try to think of something positive to replace the negative thought.

3. Focus on the facts of the situation. Sometimes, a person may encounter a lot of scary thoughts coming at them all at once. Instead of getting upset, remember that these thoughts are exaggerated and are not based on reality. It is usually the fear behind the thoughts that gets us worked up. Ignore the fear behind these obsessive thoughts, regardless how the strong the fear may be. If you ignore the fear behind these thoughts, then the thoughts become easier to manage.

4. It’s only fear. Remember that the difference between an obsessive thought and a regular thought is that an obsessive thought is based on fear. With this in mind, try to find the source of the fear behind the thought. Once you find the source of the fear, learn to manage it. If you do, the thought becomes easier to deal with.

5. Manage your thoughts. Learn to challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking. When encountering thoughts that make your fearful or depressed, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense.

manage fearful thoughts

6. Read positive statements. A person should keep a small notebook of positive statements that makes them feel good. Whenever they come across a positive and uplifting verse that makes them feel good, write it down in a small notebook. A person can then carry this notebook around in their pocket and whenever they feel anxious, they can read their notebook. 

7. Learn from your experiences. In every anxiety-related situation you experience, begin to learn what works, what doesn’t work, and what you need to improve on in managing your fearful thoughts. For instance, you have a lot of negative thoughts that are bothering you so you take a walk in your neighborhood. The next time you feel anxious you can remind yourself that you got through it the last time by taking a walk. This will give you the confidence to manage your fearful thoughts the next time around.

using positive affirmations

8. Learn to take it one day at a time. Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your negative thinking. You never know when the answers you are looking for will come to your doorstep.

9. Remember that no one can predict the future with one hundred percent certainty. Even if the thing that you are afraid of does happen there are circumstances and factors that you can’t predict which can be used to your advantage. For instance, let’s say at your place of work that you miss the deadline for a project you have been working on for the last few months. Everything you feared is coming true. Suddenly, your boss comes to your office and tells you that the deadline is extended and that he forgot to tell you the day before. This unknown factor changes everything. Remember that we may be ninety-nine percent correct in predicting the future, but all it takes is for that one percent to make a world of difference.

10. Learn as much as you can in managing negative and fearful thoughts.  There are many books and information that will educate you on how to deal with fear and your negative thinking. Education is the key in finding the answers your looking for in managing your fears.

11. Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your negative and fearful thoughts. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with their problems in the future.

12. Listen To The Professionals And Not Your Friends. Your friends may mean well, but when it comes down to it, the professionals know your situation more than anyone. They know what you are going through and are trained to deal with your negative thinking.  When you have questions about your mental health situation consult with your counselor or other mental health professional. Listen to them and follow their advice and not your friends.

13. There is hope. You may feel lost and confused but the answers to your specific problems are out there. The key is that you have to find the answers. The answers to overcoming your fearful thoughts will not come to you without some effort on your part.  As mentioned before, the first step in finding the solution to your problem is to always seek help from a qualified professional. 

About the author: Stan is the author of a popular managing fear book, “A Layman’s Guide To Managing Fear.” Stan’s book has received over 400 book reviews and offers a lot of free mental health advice on his website. For more information and some more helpful advice, visit Stan’s website at www.managingfear.com.

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