Know the Difference Between Passion and Obsession

You can be passionate about many things that bring you joy and raise your energy, but an obsession consumes your life and drains you of your energy. You can be passionate about nutrition, yoga, or playing the guitar. You can become obsessed with Instagram, money, or the news.

Of course, those things I mentioned that you can be passionate about, can turn into obsessions as well. There is a fine line crossed; a threshold where something goes from being enjoyable or being harrowing. When something starts limiting your life, or making you disregard doing things you should be doing, you have ventured off into obsessive territory.

Being passionate about something will increase your mental health and give you a greater sense of meaning and fulfillment in life. Passion and obsession have a Taoist relationship with one another. Where passion is a positive obsession, you have obsession being a negative passion. At the end of the day, it comes down to whether what you are focusing on is making you feel better and full of energy or worse and lacking energy.

Obsession will consume all of your thoughts. It will become a psychological addiction…something your ego is unable to let go of. You feel like you have to do whatever it is you are obsessed about, even though it does not make objective sense in actuality. It may consume your thoughts and be the only thing you want to do, from the moment you wake up, to the moment you go to bed, or pass out while obsessively doing it.

How to Stop Obsessing

There are a few techniques you can use to give out of the obsession hole. You can try all of these and see which ones work best for you. The first step to stop being obsessed about something is to realize you are obsessed about something. Identify the specific focus you are obsessed about. After that, practice one of the following:


  • Put on headphones, lie down, and listen to music.
  • Get into a sensory deprivation float tank.
  • Go outside for a walk into the forest.
  • Practice deep pranayama breathing.
  • Practice mindfulness meditation.
  • Get into a hyperbaric chamber.
  • Practice toning.
  • Get a massage.

These seven techniques of reducing your obsessive thoughts will help you tremendously, some more than others. One of these may be more in line with what works for you to stop an obsession. All of these will relax your mind and put the ego in the backseat for a while. A relaxed body makes for a relaxed mind. Some of these may be new to you or seem a bit strange, yet they have worked to reduce the obsessive thoughts of others and can do so for you as well. Be open to relaxing. Oftentimes, the biggest obstacle to us being happy and relaxed is our own mind. Turn it off for a while and get back to a stand of mind that serves you in a way that is not draining you.

Passion and obsession are very similar, so it can be easy to get the two of them mixed up. However, most of us feel that passion is more positive and obsession is more negative. Since everything is energy, we can discern the difference by feeling into the energy of something. Is it making us feel energized or drained? An obsession can sometimes trick you into feeling more energized, when in reality there’s a frenetic flavor to the energy.

The next time you are putting all of your energy into something, feel whether you feel expansive and liberated by it, or contracted and anxious. This will be an indicator of whether you are experiencing passion or obsession. If you’re being obsessive, try any of the practices mentioned above.

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