Friday, August 21, 2009

How to Get Rid of Obsessions

[update on 2011/02/11: This is by far, the most read post on this blog. And this is also one of the oldest articles of this blog. And I think this article hasn't been well-written. But, I won't edit my articles (except for grammar/spelling mistakes) and I don't want to lose my readers from this article. So I'm doing some gimmick here]

Added on Feb 11, 2011:

The bad news is that there is NO 'ONE surely working way' to get rid of an obsession.
But the good news is that there are several ways you could try to get rid of an obsession.

For example, if you're addicted to the internet, you could try the crazy tip given in How to Get Rid of Addiction to Facebook, Myspace, Orkut, Twitter, Other Social Networking Sites, Internet or Computer in General

And usually addictions set in when you are not a happy person. So, try reading The Secret to (Infinite) Happiness (which tells you how to control your mind and be happy)

You may also find 3 Questions to Define What is Productive and What is Not interesting too

And if you want to hear a largely biology oriented view about obsessions, read on the original article below

If you find yourself watching endless hours of tv, or jumping from site to site without noticing the clock on your desk running away, you probably know what an obsession is.

obsession - an irrational motive for performing trivial or repetitive actions, even against your will

While what you think is an obsessive behaviour of yours may be anything ranging from obsessive compulsive disorder to humane laziness, it is best to avoid them. It takes away most of your time. It shifts your focus away from things you need to really concentrate upon. It makes you feel less confident. So, we reach our topic of discussion. How do we get rid of obsessions? Of course some obsessions may be biological in origin and may need medication. But, let us try with our mind.


The first thing we need to know to get out of a problem is to know that we are in a problem.
So let us tell ourselves that we are going to fight it. That we will master our mind and direct it to do what we want and not what it thinks.

And when we are ready, we are almost there.

" You are free the moment you think you are."

So, what next? To get to the next step let us think why we developed the obsession at the first place. We are back home in the night. We have got nothing to do. We switch on...

Why? We've nothing else to do, we do something we normally don't do. And this continues even when we have something else to do. Thus the behaviour is established. And our focus is destroyed. Now our bodies start loving the behaviour and it automatically repeats appearing in our daily life.
And that brings us to the next step in getting rid of obsessions - breaking old habits. It's really easy to break your obsession if you know the right technique to it. If you observe your obsession for a few days you will see that it usually comes right after something else in our daily schedule. Sometimes you might be coming straight from work and getting into your obsession. Sometimes it would be after having tea. Or sometimes right after waking up in the morning. But it always comes just after something. Find that something. That thing which switches on your obsession. That thing which invariably precedes your obsession. And when you've found that, things are simple.
Eliminate the predecessor . The successor will lose its way.
Yeah. If you come home and get carried away, come home doing something, or reading something and continue that even after you've reached home. If you wake up to your pc, meditate from your bed itself.
Just don't give a chance for the obsession to start.
Thus you have shaken the base of the obsession.

Now exploit the chance. The obsession is losing ground. And if we launch our attack right now, the obsession will sure fail. And our weapon?

Our only weapon against an undesirable behaviour is a desirable behaviour. Take a sapling from the desirable behaviour and plant it where the undesirable used to stay. So, we need a new behaviour as a substitute. Anything from reading to exercising will do. And it need not be static. You can exercise one day, read another day, cook one day, blog another day, but there should be a substitute ready to enter the playing field.

Now cement your victory by watering the new plant everyday. Never go back to the obsessive behaviour. Whenever you feel like just get away from the thing that lures you (physically, away). And start doing the other thing.
Now there will be a voice from our mind talking about why the obsessive behaviour is probably not bad for you. But just don't listen to it. If you try to argue, almost always only that voice will win. (It has biological reasons: There is a neurotransmitter called dopamine in our brain which is related with the pleasure system. It is designed in such a way that whenever we get a pleasure, it is released, and whenever it is released we desire to have pleasure. Read more)

Due to this dopamine effect, the obsessions that have already been with you for a long time cannot be uprooted with anything I have discussed above.

But fortunately I have found a cure for dopamine.
Just like any other hormone, the effects of dopamine don't last more than a few minutes. So, the moment you feel like doing something you don't want yourself to do, tell yourself that you are ready for the obsessive behaviour (Am I telling the opposite? no! wait, read it completely). Then borrow a little time from your obsession. Think of how dopamine is working. Think of why you feel like doing that. And just sit in silence for a few minutes. And by that time dopamine will have failed to affect. You will slowly be thinking more impartially. And you will at last decide not to sway towards the obsession.

Bear in mind that fighting dopamine is difficult. But it is not impossible. And once you win this battle, you will certainly be rewarded by a stronger will.

Tell me whether this has worked for you after trying out.

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Nipun said...

your last 2 posts are proving helpful.they came just the right time.i was really in trouble about
"how to keep resolutions" &
"how to get rid of obsessions"
my mind always thought of getting rid of resolutions and keeping obsessions.
any way thanks

Unknown said...

nice one....that was really really really really really really reallyreally really really reallyreallyreally really helpful....and i suppose if u wrote it after chatting wid me

Anonymous said...

dear unknown friend,

i m so thankful to u for guiding in problem of obsession. This is more because it is completely logical rather than emotional. and all obessions are related to emotions. if we want to get rid of them we must do logical things and logically fight against it...
thank u so much...!!!

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