So if fixation leads to obsession what then?

It’s time to do a little bit of a recap and mention Mr Freud .

Who remembers our first couple of emails at the beginning of this month where we introduced Fixation?

Who thinks by now they fixate? Does this relate? It sure does with me!

Let’s start with a  further simple definition of “fixate” –

  • Fixate – to develop an obsessive attachment to someone or something
  • To direct ones eye towards – (to fixate on something you look at)

It does not sound too pleasant when described in the dictionary however If we look at Synonyms for Fixate, we see a broader idea of what it means in different contexts.

Synonyms for Fixate:

  • Fascination,
  • infatuation,
  • preoccupation,
  • crush 
  • a hang-up.

Now you can probably see that it’s not as negative as it first sounds.

Every one of us has at some point “fixated” about something at a particular time of their lives. Be it a new love interest, a new hobby or a fascination. It’s not always bad.

Love fixation can be a fun ride!

Fixation can lead us to “answers” to a new “mate” to a  “breakthrough”.

It’s the amount of time you fixate for and how it affects your life and makes you feel that’s important. Fixating on a negative experience or outcome too long will ultimately affect your mental health and wellbeing. This is when fixation is referred to as …. “an inability to adopt any different or new perspectives on a particular problem.”

  • Fixation is also often described as “Addiction”
     
  • “Addiction is a habit or activity that is often injurious”.
     
  • Addiction has been linked to genetics but there are multiple layers to look at when it comes to addiction. 
     
  • Addiction and Fixation can both be linked to our mental health and the experiences that shaped us. 
     
  • Instead of having a positive fixation for something, someone or a great new idea, it can turn into an obsession or a ‘hang up’ or even an addiction.
     
  • These negative effects are usually manifested from anxiety and/or fear that may be subconscious and seated in childhood or early teens. 
  • Fixation is a “fixed idea” of how something should be and/or feel and it causes anxiety when we can’t shift that ‘fixed idea”.  

These fixed ideas often come from childhood according renowned philologist Sigmund Freud.

  1. Freud suggests …..
  2. We can get stuck in a particular development stage as children where we were perhaps presented with an “event” in our lives that we did not know how to cope with entirely & did not develop the right tools to deal with it. 
  3. Today a widely known and popular therapy for correcting ‘pathways” made in childhood called CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) has proved very effective for people suffering with a variety of anxiety-related problems including Fixation.
  4. CBT is used to develop newer, more productive thought patterns, which in turn lead to new behavior patterns.
     
  5. As adults we often find that certain “patterns” we have or follow do come from childhood and since every generation is different, often those thought patterns simply do not serve us in any way, shape, or form now.
     
  6. Recognizing this is the hard part. There are many psychiatric disorders that have “fixation” as one of they symptoms. OCD (obsessive-compulsive-disorder) is one of them.
     
  7. People with OCD are often obsessive and fixated on a repetitive movement, a subject, object and or obsessive organizing.

I have a friend with OCD who continually washes his hands.

I’m not talking 5 times a day here but at least 20 to 30 times a day. That is known as a fixation with washing his hands.

He says his brain is misfiring and when he looks at the world, he simply sees germs on every surface, on every human and literally on everything.

​It was really hard for him to socialize or go out at all. 

I am thinking about him during Covid19. He’s probably one of the safest people to be around right now! 

He tells me his mother and aunt used to continuously clean him and his hands whenever he touched a surface or went outside as a young boy, which I found particularly interesting. Now he’s developed a psychosis of sorts and his neural pathways need “reconditioning” as such. 

He will have his work cut out for him, it is possible to live with a condition and still function.  From this example, you can see where his fixation came from and how it negatively affects his life and all those that know and love him. The anxiety from it has another effect too – panic attacks. 

How about overthinking?  Is that a fixation and is it a mental health disorder?

No, not always but overthinking can cause your mental health to decline and it is sometimes linked to psychological problems, like depression and anxiety. 

Do you resonate with any of this?

  • I myself am a bit of an over-thinker and have also fixated on a number of  ‘growth” spots I’ve had. I’ve gone over and over things in my head wishing I had done things differently and going over different scenarios.
     
  • Sometimes that has led me to an “epiphany” of sorts and other times, it’s become an unhealthy fixation that manifested negatively in me in the form of depression and anxiety too.
     
  • My family normally notices this right away. I become “removed” they can feel it. 
     
  • It turns into more of an obsession and this drives a wedge between you and those you love simply because you are not “present” – with them but not, if you know what I mean?
     
  • I find myself not even hearing them sometimes;
     
  • I’m so deeply immersed in my own thoughts that I operate on “auto pilot”. 
     
  • Overthinking from time to time is perfectly normal but if you overthink all the time that becomes ruminating and being in this condition is very debilitating.
     
  • It robs us of active participation in everything around us and is quite frankly, it’s simply exhausting!

HELPFUL TOOLS:

​I have developed some tools over the years to help me out of this and luckily my family knows me all too well.

I will share some of the tools I use with you in my next chapter. Here I will talk about our spiritual sides and the power of the mind.

All of these teachings and tools are what I learned doing Reiki 1,2 & 3 as well as an Alchemy course. In the meantime, there are everyday ways to help you with fixating and overthinking… I find these really do work.

  • Talk to yourself (yes, I know it sounds crazy!) but have a jolly good chat to yourself and talk yourself out of it when you can feel you are fixating too much on a particular problem.
     
  • Ask yourself what the worst thing that could happen would be? Honestly, once you have done that and you accept that answer as the worst-case scenario, then you can make peace with that ahead of time to avoid any “shock” factors.
     
  • Rephrase the issue in your head to reflect the positive outcome you are seeking.
     
  • Notice what you can hear, see, smell, taste and feel around you.
     
  • Go outside! Reconnect with your immediate world and everything around you. Put your feet in the sand, smell the flowers, hug a tree or simply sit outside and listen to the birds with a cup of tea.
     
  • Exercise! Physical exercise builds healthier brains. It has been said that mentally strong people exercise a lot. We all know that exercise produces endorphins which of course is the “happy hormone” so this definitely works. Its great for clearing the head.

Next we’ll look at seeking motivation through motivational speakers who inspire us to a spiritual psychologists like Eckhart Tolle and inspirational healers like Louise Hay and how mindfulness can definitely enhance your life, your mental health, and wellbeing.fe, it’s definitely a journey hey!

Love to You All, Narelle …
(and Penny too! x)

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