Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Over Thinking can Result in a Thought Addiction

The importance of the concept of having an addiction to a thought has been increasing. Thought addiction is a fact. The truth is that the power behind all addictions is a thought.

Definition of Thought Addiction (TA)

Simply, thought addiction is when a thought or set of thoughts get stuck in your head and those thoughts begin to create a thought loop. As the thoughts loop, the you become more and more focused on the thought which increasingly becomes overwhelming and you are less able to turn off your focus on that specific thought. 

As the power of the looping thought(s) increases, you feel as though you have lost control of your mind as well as your thoughts. Once out of control, the thought ends up consuming your energy and depletes your ability to perform successfully in your every day life. At that point, the thought takes over your emotional and mental life therefore you become addicted. 

Once that thought is no longer controllable you may act out in different ways in an attempt to turn the thought off. Some people use methods such as self-medicating it, fighting it or use a substance to avoid thinking that specific thought(s). 

Many people with a thought addiction state “I can’t get this thought out of my head and it is driving me crazy”. 

Concept of Thought Addiction

What is so important to take away from the concept of addiction to a thought is that a thought addiction 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 your past or negative statements expressed to you from someone else. These types of thoughts are triggered by a present event, statement or surfacing emotion. Once the thought is triggered it then surfaces unconsciously into your mind. The most common example of this type of thought is “I am not good enough”.

Cognitive therapists have long known and it has been proven that a thought precedes an emotion and a behavior. But there is more to it. Think of a triangle. Yes a emotion does not occur without a thought. An emotion generated a behavior. But also a behavior drives the development of a thought. Each one is connected to the other. Note that the triangle or everything starts with a thought first.

Form of Thought that can become Addictive

But what is also true is that “every addiction begins and ends with a thought”. 
Below is a few forms of thoughts which can result in chronic looping or can become addicting are:

·        body image thoughts
·        compulsive thoughts
·        depressive thoughts
·        diluted thoughts
·        thoughts of doubt
·        thoughts of fear
·        worry
·        negative thoughts
·        obsessive thoughts
·        lack of worth thoughts
·        superstitious thoughts
·        suicidal thoughts
·        weight thoughts

So it is important to understand that the way to stop an addiction to a thought or unceasing a looping thought is through gaining a skill and then practicing that skill. 

You have the power to command and reset your thoughts. All you need to acquire the right skills and have the willingness to consistently practice the skills to effect positive change.

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Dr Bill Tollefson is a certified master life, post trauma and holistic addiction recovery coach, speaker, radio personality and author. Dr. Bill wrote 2 books: Separated From the Light as well as Personal Philosophy Method and is working on his 3rd book 

Visit him at drbilltollefson.com
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