Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thought Addiction

The importance of the concept of having an addiction to a thought has been increasing. Simply, thought addiction is when a thought or set of thoughts get stuck in your head and those thoughts begin to create a loop. As the thoughts loop, the person becomes more and more focused on them and less able to defocus from them. As the power of the thoughts increase, the person feels as though he or she has lost control. Once out of control, the thought ends up consuming his or her energy and depletes the ability to perform successfully. At that point the thought takes over his or her mental life and becomes addicting. Once a thought is no longer controllable the person acts out in different ways to turn it off. Some people use methods such as medicating it, fighting it or use a substance to avoid it. Many people with this condition state “I can’t get this thought out of my head and it is driving me crazy”. What is so important to take away from the concept of addiction to a thought is not a mental disorder or a lack of self control problem. Thought addiction is a skill deficiency.
Generally these types of thoughts are core beliefs from his or her past or negative statements expressed from someone else. They are triggered by a present event and mentally surface unconsciously into the mind. The most common example of this type of thought is “I am not good enough”. Cognitive therapists have long know and proven that a thought precedes an emotion and a behavior. But what is also true is that “every addiction begins and ends with a thought”. A few forms of thoughts which can result in chronic looping are:
·        body image thoughts
·        depressive thoughts
·         doubt
·         fear
·         worry
·         negative thoughts
·         obsessive thoughts
·         lack of worth thoughts
·        superstitious thoughts
·         suicidal ideation
·         weight thoughts
So it is important to understand that the way to stop an addiction to a thought or unceasing looping is through gaining and practicing mental skills. We have the power to command and reset or thoughts. We just need to acquire the proper skills and have a willingness to consistently practice the skills to effect positive change.

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