On Quelling Obsessive Thoughts

All too often, I obsess.

If I could get paid for the time I’ve spent ruminating over conversations and wondering what’s going to happen next, I’d be a billionaire.

Tonight, I’m fixated on a date I had last night. I went out downtown. The date went well: good conversation, a bit of flirtation. We walked outside and I expected this guy to say, “I’d love to see you again.” Or something like that. Instead he sad, “Let me know if you want to hang out again.”

Um…OK. Not exactly sure what to do with that kind of ending. Today I thought, maybe he’ll text. He didn’t. Work distracted me, but tonight that text-I-never-received is all I can think about.

I know these are common post-date worries.

But my brain seems to take the concern and heat it up until the boiling obsession bubbles into every single one of my brain cells. I do stupid things like google “should a woman text a guy after the first date?” and read websites that advocate rules I don’t believe in.

Years ago, I would have kept going. Kept riding “the crazy train” as my friend L call is– reading websites about the scenario, texting friends, replaying scenes in my head.

Now, I work on shutting it down with the following tactics:

  1. Notice that I’m obsessing.
  2. Accept what I’m doing–it’s OK. No need to beat myself up.
  3. Write about it. Journaling always helps me.
  4. Redirect the neuroses. Find a distraction. Anything–doodling, cooking, napping.
  5. Forgive myself if I start up again.

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