How to get rid of an obsession

How to get rid of an obsession

Can’t find a way to overcome an obsession? Try applying the tips that we have prepared for you that, with a little effort and perseverance, could be very helpful.

How to get rid of an obsession
Elena Sanz

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Elena Sanz the 02 December, 2021.

Last update: 02 December, 2021

Obsession is a mental disturbance that is generated by an idea that assails the mind. There are many types of obsession, such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCD). If you think you are obsessed with something, today we have a series of tips to get rid of those thoughts.

Obsession is often thought of from a love point of view or through a fixation on cleanliness. Nevertheless, you can obsess over anything; to the point of relying only on those obsessive thoughts. Orthorexia, blancorexia, and tanorexia are a good example of this. Our steps to free yourself from an obsession will help you overcome these urges.

7 steps to free yourself from an obsession

In accordance with The experts, obsessions can be classified as autogenous and reactive. Autogenous obsessions are those that develop without an identifiable external stimulus; while reactive obsessions require this stimulus to manifest.



It is often thought that it is not possible to free oneself from an obsession. This is an erroneous belief, since studies and the research realize that effective treatment is possible. Some psychologists They have even suggested group sessions to overcome an obsession, although in principle individual sessions should be chosen.

It is very important that you know that your obsession can be treated, and with it also all the symptoms that accompany it (anxiety, depression, fear and others). Let’s see 7 steps you can take to free yourself from these thoughts.

1. Seek professional help

Psychologists are trained to recommend and apply techniques designed to reduce the consequences of obsessions, as well as mitigate their appearance.

Yes, the smartest thing you can do to overcome an obsession is to seek professional help. Usually, most of them are treated with psychotherapy or medication. Consulting with a mental health professional is the first step in breaking free from an obsession.



It is very likely that you are suspicious in seeking help of this type, perhaps because of the stigma that may arise. If you want to overcome these episodes you will have to eliminate this idea from your head. Just like you go to a cardiologist when you feel repetitive discomfort in the heart, you should go to a psychologist for any type of condition that he can treat.

The prognoses are very good, although you may have to try two or three alternatives before finding a therapy model that is best for you. Also, keep in mind that many of the obsessions are due to childhood or adolescent trauma. Discovering what is behind them can be very useful to overcome them.

2. Distract yourself from obsessive thoughts

The second recommendation to free yourself from obsessions is to distract yourself from obsessive thoughts. Remember the division we have given about autogenous obsessions, those that occur without an external stimulus. They are much more likely to arise when you are alone with a blank mind, than when you are in company and entertained.

For this reason, try to distract yourself by sharing with your friends or doing things that prevent compulsive ideas from weaving in your head. Read a book, go for a walk, go to the movies or play a sport. As soon as you feel the idea take shape in your head, try to focus your attention on other aspects.

3. Do not isolate yourself from your environment

Following the previous idea, what you should never do is isolate yourself from your environment. That is, cut off all communication with your friends or family and choose instead to fight this war alone. If you do this you will give yourself completely to your obsession, whatever it may be, and you will sink more and more into its dependence.

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A supporting hand is always a big help, especially when it comes from someone who appreciates you. Isolating yourself is never the solution, and can actually increase symptoms such as anxiety or depression.. Of course it is natural for you to be wary of sharing your obsession, but remember the example of the cardiologist that we took in our first step.

4. Stay away from the source of your obsession.

Just as to overcome alcoholism you must stay away from alcohol, to overcome any episode of this type you must cut the connection that binds you to the source of your obsession. Yes, we know that doing it is not easy; but start by doing it gradually.

If you cut the connection with your obsession abruptly, it is very likely that you will suffer symptoms identical to withdrawal syndrome. Ideally, you should learn to live with the object of your obsession without it awakening compulsive ideas in you. For now, you should stay away from him.

To give a very simple example: if you are obsessed with cleaning, have someone else do the cleaning of the home for you. Also try to have only the necessary amount of detergents available. It requires a lot of willpower and commitment, but if you have taken into account the three previous steps to free yourself from an obsession you will be able to manage it much better.

5. Include new habits in your life

Very important for you to focus your thoughts on new life goals. It can be anything, the important thing is that it does not conflict with what we have already mentioned (that is, that it does not isolate or revolve around your obsession).

Knitting, yoga, painting, writing, volunteering with charities, cooking classes, joining dance classes, fishing, gardening, taking photography courses, and singing are just a few hobby ideas. These will help you see a new perspective on life, as well as put your obsession on the back burner.

6. Practice meditation

Dedicating some space for reflection and relaxation through meditation is important to letting go of obsessive thoughts.

As indicated by the experts and the researchers, meditation is a solid tool for dealing with obsession. In addition, it is an alternative that allows you to cope with the anxiety, depression and tension that often accompany these episodes. This is not to mention that, if you practice it in a group, it is an excellent strategy to avoid isolating yourself.

Meditation is an underrated technique for dealing with these types of disorders. You should never reduce its benefits, nor should you abandon it when you have certified that it helps you control your impulses. If you want, you can start practicing it at home and then consider attending group sessions when you feel comfortable.

7. Understand that obsession is not a priority in your life

Finally, another of the things that can be done to free yourself from an obsession is to understand that this is not a priority in your life. Think about your obsession right now. Regardless of its nature, it is something that does you more harm than good. In addition, it is a behavior that, if you reduce or eliminate it completely, does not affect your integrity or your health at all.

Of course understanding this alone will not make your obsession go away, but it will give you more encouragement to continue working on it. Knowing that your obsessive ideas hurt you, that they hurt you, and that their materialization is not necessary in life will give you encouragement to want to reverse them.

With this last reflection we say goodbye hoping that these tips to overcome an obsession will be of great help. Although there is nothing wrong with trying to reduce it on your own, remember that the mediation of a professional is essential. Do not close yourself to consult one if your obsession is getting out of hand.

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