How to Overcome An Unhealthy Obsession

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Learn to overcome an unhealthy obsession.
Learn to overcome an unhealthy obsession. (Image: Morguefile.com)

An unhealthy obsession feels horrible. It is one thing to feel very passionately about a person or a project, but it is another thing to take that passion too far and to become obsessed. Being obsessed with something or someone is not a healthy or constructive way to live. Read on for tips about how to stop obsessing.

The first step to overcome an unhealthy obsession is to determine if what you are feeling is actually passion or obsession. Let's say, for example, that you have fallen for a person or a project. Is that person or project the only thing you think about from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep at night? If so, you may have moved passed passion and slipped into "unhealthy obsession territory."

If you have determined that you are indeed struggling with an unhealthy obsession (as opposed to a healthy passion), you will need to have a strong desire to move past the obsession in order for you to successfully overcome it.

If you do in fact desire to overcome an unhealthy obsession, you will need to do things to take your mind off of it. For instance, let's say that you believe you have become obsessed with playing a particular video game, and you no longer feel comfortable with how many hours a day you have been spending on this activity. Do anything in your power to break the habit. Get out of the house, talk to a friend, take a run, go to a store (but not a store that sells video games). You get the idea: Remove yourself from the situation that is causing you anxiety, and you will start to break the hold it has had on you.

Give yourself some time to get over your obsession. Odds are your obsession did not form overnight. Similarly, you probably won't be able to "get over" your obsession overnight, and this is totally understandable, so please go easy on yourself throughout this process.

Try to study the situation as though you were looking at it from the outside as a way to regain your sense of perspective. In other words, if you were your best friend (offering advice to you), what would you tell yourself about your particular obsession in order to help you get over it once and for all?

Don't beat yourself up about having formed an obsession or an obsessive behavior or habit. Chances are you are someone who cares deeply and passionately about everything you do, and who really throws yourself into your life. These are good qualities! It is sometimes just a question of degree. Loving an activity (or a person) is very different from being obsessed with that activity or person. Just keep in mine that love is healthy and it feels good; obsession is not healthy and it feels bad.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have gotten over one unhealthy obsession but you can feel a new unhealthy obsession forming, just try to apply the above steps as early as possible in the formation of a new unhealthy obsession.

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