Do you ever have thoughts that you just can’t shake? Thoughts that make you feel ashamed, embarrassed, or even scared? These are known as intrusive thoughts, and they can be very difficult to deal with. In this blog post, we will discuss how to stop unwanted intrusive thoughts from taking over your life. We will cover a variety of techniques that can help you manage these thoughts and regain control over your mind.
- 1 Are Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts Normal?
- 2 Why Does My Brain Think Things I Don’t Want It To?
- 3 How Do I Get Rid Of Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts?
- 4 Do I Need Medications To Control These Thoughts?
- 5 Conclusion
Are Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts Normal?
Many people across the world experience intrusive thoughts from time to time. These thoughts are often random and can be anything from worrying about a problem in your life or having a fear that something bad will happen. Intrusive thoughts can range from mild to intense and even dangerous. Yet they remain largely unspoken due to their distressing nature.
Although unwanted intrusive thoughts can be an uncomfortable experience, it is important to remember that they are a normal part of life. It is estimated that up to 90% of people across the world have experienced intrusive thoughts at one point or another and they are often interpreted as signs of mental illness.
However, these thoughts can happen to anyone and do not necessarily indicate any underlying mental health issue. These can be the result of everyday stress, anxiety, and fear. They can also arise due to physical symptoms such as fatigue or changes in hormones. It is important not to panic when these thoughts occur and try to acknowledge them without judgment.
Why Does My Brain Think Things I Don’t Want It To?
Unwanted intrusive thoughts are the same alike having an annoying neighbor that just keeps popping up. Let’s say you’re walking through a park and suddenly your mind is filled with thoughts of jumping off the nearest bridge. At this moment, it may feel like something is wrong with you or that these types of intrusive thoughts are a sign of danger.
But in reality, having intrusive thoughts is an incredibly common experience. So why do we get these unwanted thoughts?
One explanation is that it may be a defense mechanism employed by our brains as a way to protect us from potential danger. Another theory suggests that intrusive thoughts may be the result of our brains trying to sort through and make sense of all the information we encounter on a daily basis.
It is also possible that these thoughts are just part of normal brain functioning. Everyone has these types of thoughts and it is important to remember that having these unwanted thoughts does not mean you are crazy or dangerous.
How Do I Get Rid Of Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts?
As you have understood the basics of intrusive thoughts, it is now time to know about the ways to get rid of them. Remember that this process can take some time and effort but it’ll eventually be helpful in maintaining a positive mindset.
Understand It As Normal
It is essential to understand that intrusive thoughts are normal and everyone experiences them. Whenever an intrusive thought pops up, try to rationalize it and accept it as one of the natural thoughts we all experience without being judgmental about ourselves. Remind yourself that these thoughts do not necessarily represent your beliefs or values.
Stress can be a major factor in increasing intrusive thoughts so identify and reduce the sources of stress in your life. Try to practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and mindfulness meditation. It can help to reduce the occurrence of intrusive thoughts. You can simply start by sitting for a few minutes and focusing on your breath.
Engage In Positive Activities
Do activities that make you feel good about yourself and your life. It can range from taking a walk, listening to music, reading books, or engaging in creative activities like painting or writing. All these activities can help you distract from negative thinking patterns and give you a sense of accomplishment.
Talk To Someone
Talking to a professional or someone you trust can be beneficial in getting rid of intrusive thoughts. Talking about your issues can help you to vent out the negative energy and provide a better understanding of the situation. This will eventually make it easier for you to cope with the situation.
When an intrusive thought arises, try to stay distracted from it by engaging yourself in something else that you enjoy doing like playing a game or talking with someone. This will not only help you to stay away from negative thoughts but also reduce your overall stress levels. For example, if a thought arises while you are studying, try to pause and do some stretching exercises or listen to music.
Overthinking about a particular thought can lead to continuous intrusive thoughts. To avoid this, try to challenge your thought and think about the opposite of them. For example, if you have a thought that you are not capable of achieving something, try to think about all the things that you have achieved so far and use this thought to motivate yourself.
It is another helpful tool to combat intrusive thoughts. Talk to yourself in a positive manner and remind yourself that you are capable of handling the situation. Positive self-talk can help you to change your outlook and boost your confidence. For example, if you are facing an intrusive thought of not being able to complete a task, tell yourself that you can do it and believe in yourself.
One of the best ways to reduce intrusive thoughts is to practice gratitude. It helps to focus on the positive aspects of life that you are grateful for and shift your attention away from negative thoughts. You can start by writing down a few things that you are thankful for and this can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
See a Therapist
Finally, if your thoughts are taking a toll on your life, it is best to seek professional help. Talking to a therapist can help you to identify the root cause of the intrusive thoughts and equip you with strategies to cope with them. The therapist will provide you with the necessary tools and techniques to manage your thoughts better.
With these strategies, you can combat intrusive thoughts and lead a happier and healthier life. Remember, you have the power to control your thoughts, so choose wisely!
Do I Need Medications To Control These Thoughts?
Generally, these thoughts can be managed with cognitive-behavioral therapy and other therapy types. But in some cases, medications may be prescribed to help reduce the severity of symptoms.
Some people who struggle with intrusive thoughts find relief from medications including:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Atypical antipsychotics
- Mood stabilizers
- Tricyclic antidepressants
It is important to speak with a doctor before making any decisions about medications. A doctor can help create an individualized treatment plan that best fits your needs. Treatments for intrusive thoughts may vary depending on their severity. So it is important to explore all available options before making a decision about which path to take.
And be sure to be aware of the side effects and potential risks of any medications. It is also a good idea to discuss alternative therapies with your doctor. They can help you determine the best option for managing intrusive thoughts.
In a nutshell, unwanted intrusive thoughts can take a toll on one’s mental health. While it is not always possible to get rid of intrusive thoughts, there are some strategies that can help manage them. These include relaxation techniques, therapies, and medications if necessary. This may not cure intrusive thoughts, but it can help reduce their severity and frequency.
Ultimately, learning how to cope with intrusive thoughts is a key step to restoring the balance of one’s mental health and well-being. Please remember that there is always help available and do not hesitate to reach out for assistance.
For more information and guidance, please contact MantraCare. OCD is a mental health disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions. If you have any queries regarding Online OCD Counseling experienced therapists at MantraCare can help: Book a trial OCD therapy session