Thinking about the weird and wonderful things happening in life is great, but obsessing about stuff is really not. Sometimes, unfortunately, our imagination gets a little too overactive and ends up drowning out the real things that are actually happening. It's not even slightly helpful to overthink anything, even though your brain would like you to think otherwise. The thing is that whenever you're in an obsessive place, that comes from anxiety, which should definitely tell you that this isn't a positive thing at all. Unraveling why something is giving you enough anxiety to obsess about it can be a little challenging but it's also a good process because you might realize what you're actually worried about is something totally different. You might be obsessing about how to get out of a dinner so you can save money but realize it goes back to the fact that you haven't paid your phone bill. If we obsessed in healthy ways that would be interesting, but even when we obsess about good stuff, we can definitely veer into dangerous territory. Here are 15 things you need to stop obsessing over ASAP.
15 A Mistake From Three Years Ago
Did you mess up so bad that you still think about it years later and mull over how else it could have gone? Well, it went the way it did, and you definitely can't change that now. It would have been cool if you had your current mindset to deal with that situation back then, but you didn't because that isn't how life works. The only reason you've matured and gotten more reasonable is because you've been living and reflecting along the way. If you hadn't gone through anything, you would still be that person. For all you know that solitary incident that you're obsessing over is what made you a better person today, so just thank your old self and move on. If you can't get the mistake out of your head because there is unfinished business, well, that's a different story. Apologize for leaving someone when they needed you the most. Explain your actions to someone who wanted to understand. Do something so that you can move on.
14 The Guy That Dumped You
Some break-ups are definitely harder to move on from than others, but obsessing about someone who dumped you is going to become a huge waste of energy pretty darn fast. He left you (sorry, sounds harsh but you need the reminder), and wishing that he didn't for whatever reason isn't going to change it. There's no good way to fast forward through grieving and feelings definitely need to be felt, but there is a big difference between feeling things and obsessing. When you obsess your thoughts become compulsive, which locks you into a spot of rumination. Rumination is the brain's way of trying to make sense of something, which basically just looks like a lot of chaos turning in circles when there isn't an apparent answer. Getting dumped is the perfect storm for rumination to take hold because you don't always know what went wrong or if there's anything that could have been done, so you can't stop thinking about it. The problem is that rumination causes real stress.
13 Your Amazing New Guy
On the flip side, you should never under any circumstances obsess about the new guy you're seeing. It doesn't matter how great he is. Just don't obsess. Obsessing that he's The One isn't going to help speed up the dating process. If anything, that's just going to cause problems. Obsessing can make us act out of character like getting clingy, investing everything, worrying that something is going to go wrong when nothing is actually happening. Obsessing about a guy is actually a great way to push him away. When we obsess about a guy, we're generally projecting something onto him and thinking he's perfect when no one is perfect. Obsessing over someone also makes it extra hard if things don't work out the way that you'd hoped. Everything is going to feel more dramatic than it actually is. Stay calm and keep things in perspective. He's awesome, that's great, so are you. Keep doing you and keep handling your business and everything else will fall into place.
12 Something Rude Your Sister Said
Family tensions can be higher than other relationships because there is so much imbedded in them. You've known these people your entire life, which means that they know you well, too. When a family member says something that pisses you off or makes you feel defensive about your life choices, it can be harder to let go than if a random person said it because on some level you wonder if there's some validity to their point. Or you wonder if they're trying to manipulate you because they can, or they're projecting something onto you, also because they can. It can get pretty complicated. But no matter what your sister said or why, after a certain point you're only hurting yourself more by holding onto it. If you feel like bringing the comment back and discussing it then do that. But if it seems dramatic to get into a conversation about how three months ago she referred to you as defensive, just let it go. Maybe you are defensive, maybe you aren't. That's for you to figure out and deal with but it doesn't require carrying the irritation and anger at her for saying it.
11 Your Hair
Of the things to worry about in life, hair probably isn't really that serious. In fact, if you have time to worry about your hair, then things are probably pretty good in general. But at the same time, the way we present ourselves to the world feels important since the world responds to it, so we like to look and feel our best. But to what extent? Some statistics suggest that 44 percent of women say that their moods have been negatively affected by a "bad hair day." A third of women have regretted making a change in their hairstyle, and 26 percent of women have cried after getting a hair cut. We take this stuff incredibly seriously. In the moment it can feel like a huge problem, because a change in our appearance can make us feel less like ourselves and of course we always want to feel like we're working with the best version of ourselves. It's one thing to get all your hair chopped off and be stressed out about that but at the same time there's nothing to do but get patient. The crazy thing about being affected by a minor bad hair day is that other people generally don't notice our bad days, so imagine all that energy we're spending stewing over nothing.
10 How Broke You Are
If you're broke, well, you better think about it, but only because you need to figure out both how to budget and start saving... as well as increase your income. Just do it. Obsessing miserably about your empty bank account doesn't help for a lot of reasons. For one thing, the time that you spend obsessing about it is wasted time that you could be productive and make more money. Sometimes it's easier to complain about something than to fix it, and when you get into the habit of doing that, it can become destructive. Complaining about lack of money keeps you stuck instead of seeing the alternatives. If you were to somehow ban yourself from complaining about it, there would be nothing left to do but take action. Why would you want to think of yourself as broke, anyway? Instead of going to dinner and complaining about it, skip a dinner or any other unnecessary obligations until you get back on track. If skipping dinner sounds like the worst thing in the world, well, then you'll figure out another area to cut back.
9 Your Weight
Obsessing over anything about your physical appearance has the potential to take you down some dark paths. Naturally, if you care about your health or appearance, your weight is going to be a consideration, but obsessing over it never helps. If you realize that you'd like to drop a couple pounds, the best thing to do is to put down the bagel you're eating and go to the gym. It starts today, not the end of the week. That gives you too much time to keep worrying about it when you should just be doing something about it instead. Obsessing also provides the option to take things to the extreme in the other direction, which is how disordered eating can begin. Cutting out any food group completely or never thinking you've lost enough weight is an exhausting path to be on. Take a step back and keep things in perspective. The body is completely reasonable about losing weight when you're taking the proper steps to support that process, and the more you can get out of your head the more you can just focus on handling what you need to and forgetting the rest. That extra five pounds won't keep you from the love of your life or getting a job or having a good day.
8 The State Of The World
It's near impossible to miss information about what's going on the world and of course you should be paying attention and doing your part to help people when you can. But obsessing over the news is not a good idea because the news sensationalizes the horrible stuff and is pretty great at leaving out the good stuff. If you obsess over what's being shared on a news program or on your Facebook feed, you're only going to be getting a piece of the very large picture. There has always been crappy things happening in the world, and unless all of mankind goes through some uber enlightenment there probably always be. People like to say that things are going to go downhill but that kind of generalization is often uninformed. Take reasonable precautions, but don't live in fear that something might go wrong. It doesn't help. Look for ways to bring more good news into your life, and split your focus between things that need to be changed and things that are going marvelously well in the world.
7 Any Kind Of Drama
Obsessing about drama, in general, is just a recipe for bringing more of it into your life, which just starts a vicious cycle. The thing about drama is that people can get fully addicted to it as a way to bring some excitement into life. You may be one of the people or conversely know someone who seems to thrive off of dramatic circumstances whether it's in their own life or in someone else's. It's like feed or something. But doing that is mostly just distracting from the most authentic things that are concurrently happening besides all the drama. There is plenty happening in life at all times without the added negativity, but when you're addicted to drama you can't even see that. Being addicted to drama might mean on some level creating arguments to cause distractions from other issues, being overly involved in someone else's issues, getting a sense of thrill when chaos occurs whether it's running late, being overworked and pressed for deadlines, or being in the center of petty fights with your friends.
Obsessing about anyone else's life, in general, is a little messed up. Celebrity culture is strong and interesting and of course, it drives forward a lot of social trends so paying attention makes sense. There's a lot of inspiration to be found out there. But taking it to the point of obsessing and watching every move that a certain celeb makes can take attention away from the real people in your life. Being a celebrity is a job in itself, and there are a lot of things happening behind the scenes to make sure that they're being seen at specific times and places wearing and doing other specific things. They're pretty much a brand and everything is marketing. So don't make the mistake of thinking you really understand celebrity motivation because you don't even know them. Researchers have found links between celebrity worship and body image issues. Celebs are advertised in extreme ways, and sometimes that even go to extreme ends to modify their faces and bodies, so forming comparisons or attachments to certain looks isn't going to be great for you.
5 Everything That Could Go Wrong
If you try to prepare yourself for life by obsessing over everything that could go wrong, stop now. You're not actually preparing yourself at all. You're more likely just stopping yourself from trying something new or enjoying yourself when you do. If you're always operating from a place of expecting that something will go then you'll actually be more likely to see that it does. Everytime something goes wrong when you expected it, it will just reinforce you that your doom perspective is correct, and then you'll lock into that belief even more. But just as often as things don't turn out as planned, they turn out just fine or even better than planned. Instead of thinking about the potential negatives, how about assume that things are going to go great and look for ways to confirm that belief? What's the harm in that? Nothing. Thinking about things that could go wrong doesn't actually help you if they do anyway. You can't manage a crisis that hasn't happened. Stop trying to make the world a dangerous place and just accept that it can actually be a really wonderful one.
4 Being Comfortable
Stop obsessing about comfort. No one ever said life meant being comfortable 100 percent of the time, and you're probably a lot more comfortable than most people in the world (and every generation that came before this one). Obsessing about comfort will turn you into someone who is afraid to take risks and head into the unknown, but that's exactly where so much of life exists. We make the mistake of limiting our lives by thinking that we know best on how to structure them, but that cuts out the element of surprise. The truth is that the world is a lot bigger than we think, and there are more people, jobs, locations, and just cool moments than your brain could ever compute. So why would you think you know it all? That's capping out the opportunities and experiences. The thing is, they're not all comfortable. Switching to healthy instead of binging on comfort food can be scary. Traveling to a foreign country can be as well. Opening your heart to let someone love you, giving birth, saying goodbye to people... none of those things are even remotely comfortable. But they're pivotal moments and you don't want to limit those.
Obsessing about your "haters" is the biggest waste of time ever. For one, the assumption that you even have haters is sometimes used to boost the ego (like you must be doing something right if enough people are watching that they even hate you). Or it could be that you're pretty normal but doing something rude that legit pisses people off. It's not a good thing to have haters so don't get pulled into it. Everyone on the planet is going to have people watching them, as well as people disagreeing with what they do, so it's not a unique or important quality. On the flip side, you can't obsess over the opinions of people who don't support your life, because who cares what they think? If someone has something negative to say to you and it strikes some sensitive spot somewhere in your body, then maybe think about why and if there's any truth to what they're saying. If it hurts your feelings it's for a reason. If there is absolutely zero relevance to the negativity someone is putting on you then throw it out in the trash and don't look back. You can't stop people from talking badly about you, but you can control your reactions to it.
Thinking about aging is impossible, especially once you pass through that life stage of scrambling to get your life started and then realize how fast it goes anyway. It's not easy to realize the time you wasted or the mistakes you made, or notice the wrinkles and sunspots that are starting to crop up after all those fun years in the sun. But obsessing about it won't do a single thing to stop it, only changing your perspective about it will. Instead of getting stressed out that a birthday comes around each year and marks you older, recognize it for what it really is. A celebration that you made it another year on this planet and hopefully are a better person than you were the year prior. If aging makes you think about the diminishment of time, figure out ways to make better use of the time that you have now. Instead of obsessing over the changes in your appearance, accept that you're not a teenager anymore... but you don't actually want to be. When you really break it down there's no way that you would want to go back in time, so don't fear going forwards. You don't have a choice, anyway.
1 Things You Can't Control
If you can't control something, you don't need to obsess about it. Acknowledge it and be open to new suggestions for the ways to deal or help or whatever, but don't obsess. The truth is that you can't actually control a lot of things that you think you have control over. You can try to control every aspect of your appearance and the way you present yourself to the world, but some of that will go out the window the second you step outside and talk to another person who will always be an unpredictable factor in life. You can't control your relationships. You can't control every element of your future. You can be informed, plan, have opinions, goals, dreams, and wishes... but you just can't control everything. There are too many moving parts to even think that you could. Your life and happiness is extremely important, but you're also just one of billions who's is too. Somehow we have to all work together in this interconnected grid of people to support all of our happiness.