Anxiety Causes Obsessive Thoughts I Can't Let Go Of

June 12, 2018 Jenny Capper

Obsessive thoughts and anxiety make it hard to live in the moment and enjoy life. Learn how obsessive thoughts and anxiety make life hard at HealthyPlace.

Obsessive thoughts are a kind of anxiety. Anxiety about a situation can set off obsessive thoughts, causing you to assume the worst outcome. It can make you feel like you've made the most horrible mistake in the world, even if it was something minor. There have been many times that my anxiety about something has grown into an obsession. Obsessive thoughts from anxiety cause many problems for me.

Four Problems with Obsessive Thoughts from Anxiety

1. Obsessive Thoughts Make Mistakes Seem Bigger

When I make one little mistake, I dwell on it until it blows out of proportion in my mind. I start to believe that something terrible is going to happen because of what I did. I run over in my mind what happened and how I should have acted or addressed the situation.

I can't tell you how many times I wished for the ability to time travel. I just want to fix it. I imagine how I would handle it if I had the chance to do it over. And then I go back to berating myself for making the mistake in the first place.

2. Obsessive Thoughts Cause Overanalyzing and More Anxiety

When I text someone and don't hear back from them right away, I'll start to believe that they're upset with me for some reason. I'll start overanalyzing our entire conversation, searching my messages for what I said that could have been taken the wrong way.

I automatically assume the worst outcome in any situation. I'll create a scenario in my head and I just think about it. The negative, obsessive thoughts turn over and over in my mind. Even if the logical side of my brain tries to reason with me, I shut it down.

It's exhausting. I am constantly on edge. It's almost as if I'm searching for ways to be stressed out. I spend so much time overthinking what I did, I forget to live.

3. Obsessive Thoughts Can Trigger Depression Symptoms

Sometimes, there are days where I stay in bed for hours, just obsessively thinking. I can't bring myself to get up and live my life because I'm so afraid that I ruined everything. The extreme anxiety turns into depression and I sink into total despair.

When I'm finally able to come out of the depression and start reasoning with myself, it can take days, sometimes weeks to finally forget about the situation. And even then, a thought will come to me occasionally and remind me of what occurred. I've had times where I start crying out of shame because of something that happened a year ago.

4. Obsessive Thoughts with Anxiety Make It Hard to Live in the Present

Living with anxiety makes every day a challenge. Instead of focusing on the here and now, I'll dwell on the past or worry about the future. It's a struggle to stay present. Obsessing about mistakes or assuming the worst about certain situations prevents me from thinking clearly about what I'm doing right now.

Obsessive thoughts are a form of negative thoughts. While it seems impossible at times, these are controllable. As I practice mindfulness and focus on ways of getting out of my head, it becomes easier to the handle the thoughts and stay in the moment.

What I've Learned About Anxiety and Obsessive Thoughts

I will make mistakes. Making mistakes doesn't mean that the worst is going to happen. It's so important to remind myself of this each day.

If I want to live a happy and fulfilling life, I need to find ways to cope with my obsessive thoughts and anxiety and learn to give myself grace. I am holding myself to an impossible standard. It's time to let that go, learn from my mistakes, and truly thrive.

APA Reference
Capper, J. (2018, June 12). Anxiety Causes Obsessive Thoughts I Can't Let Go Of, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 25 from

Author: Jenny Capper

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November, 24 2018 at 9:20 pm

Wow. I totally 100%% agree! Thank you for sharing your feelings. This has helped me ??

October, 9 2020 at 1:56 am

This is so accurate. Thank you for writing this!! Gave words to things I’ve experienced.

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