How To Stop Intrusive Thoughts
How to Stop Intrusive Thoughts
They’re there, they’re unwanted, they’re dreaded. Intrusive thoughts come in without permission and without warning.
How can you turn your mind from being engulfed in the uninvited? How can you stop intrusive thoughts?
If you’ve been dealing with this for a while, the prospect of being free from the captivity of your mind can seem like something you can only imagine.
You don’t have to continue to be a prisoner of your mind, there is relief.
Get to know about what intrusive thoughts are, how you can take actions to be free of them and start to live with peace of mind.
What Are Intrusive Thoughts
It’s never asked for but there it is, plaguing you and keeping you up at night.
One of the worst aspects of this is that it’s set on replay. Thoughts that when you try not to think of seem to come at you with an even bigger punch.
They’re obsessive and can compel you to act. Even if you don’t want to or you see the absurdity in it.
It can ruin your relationships, cause you to isolate, cause incredible fear and paranoia. Some people will elevate these thoughts with repetitive actions and that can steal your life from you.
Anyone Can Have Intrusive Thoughts
Intrusive thoughts are usually associated with those who have anxiety disorders such as PTSD or OCD but really, anyone can have an episode of intrusive thoughts.
Say you’ve met someone at work and you want to make a good impression. You may repeat the events of the day examining if you left a good impression. Or you may assume that you didn’t leave a good impression and end up replaying events that didn’t even happen, over and over.
You may be stressed out over taking an exam and experience intrusive thoughts.
Anyone can have intrusive thoughts and no one’s experience is exactly the same.
Common Intrusive Thoughts
Some people have intrusive thoughts about being exposed to germs, catching a deadly disease and it killing them.
You can have intrusive thoughts about what kind of impression you’ve left on someone. How many likes you got on a Facebook post, or if your business proposal went over well with your potential clients.
Some people experience it while they’re driving, afraid they’re going to purposely drive themselves off the road.
Or, it could be in the form of hurting your own child, spouse or yourself. It’s completely unwanted, absolutely intrusive and can be paralyzing.
I used to constantly have intrusive thoughts over the majority of my social interactions. It was heartbreakingly crippling.
However, any intrusive thought can become a serious problem.
3 Steps to Overcoming Obsessive Thoughts
If you want to overcome obsessive thoughts the biggest things you must understand is it will take some time and it won’t necessarily be pleasant.
But you can move into a place of healing. You have to ask yourself how badly do you want to be rid of your obsessive thoughts? Obviously bad, bad enough to fight?
Intrusive thoughts are 100% fear based and are also 100% nothing but lies.
You weren’t made to have the spirit of fear but one of power, love and a sound mind. And you living in truth is your right.
Maybe it feels like you’ll be stuck with these horrible looping thoughts forever and you’re just crazy.
You’re not. And yes, there is hope.
These are powerful exercises I want you to commit to doing every day. It’s about fighting for yourself. You have to fight because you can’t keep being a slave to intrusive thoughts.
Can your brain physically change?
Absolutely, thanks to neuroplasticity. Your thoughts patterns create the neural network in your brain. If you have deep-rooted pathways carved out it can take time to change your brain. However, these techniques to stop intrusive thoughts are effective.
Over time you will start to conquer, overcome and find peace within your own mind. This may take months, but don’t let that deter you. Keep doing the exercises and keep having faith. Tell yourself that you will overcome. And you will.
1. Don’t Ignore Obsessive Thoughts
Take note of what your possible triggers are, the duration of the episode and the specifics of your thoughts. This will empower you in the long run. Allowing you to become more aware of your intrusive thoughts, and help you to avoid situations that trigger you.
I also suggest keeping a journal. When you get stuck in a loop, write down what it is. Or, say it out loud to yourself, bringing all those nasty lies to the surface, exposing them.
When you expose these lies they hold less power over you.
You can’t ignore the thoughts to overcome them. You have to bring them to the light by acknowledging they’re there. This can be so incredibly painful but this exercise is necessary for you to gain control over what you think.
Have you ever had a song replay again and again in your head? The more you try to bat away or ignore the song, the more it seems to persist.
It’s time to really hear those lyrics and then, play a new song.
2.Think Worst Case Scenario With Intrusive Thoughts
I know this can be terrifying. But you’re taking this darkness in your mind and standing up against it. If the worst case scenario plays out in your head, then those thoughts can’t gain more momentum. Facing the unknowns which lead to more fear feeding these lies even more.
Allow yourself to experience the worst case scenario and sit in that feeling for a few moments.
Then challenge that reality with what is true.
So if your thoughts are “I always feel like I’m being watched and something is going to jump out and grab me”, the opposing thought could be something like, “I know that I am protected by something more powerful than this fear and nothing is allowed to harm me.”
Or if your intrusive thought is something like, “I may accidentally drop my child…” and then the worst case scenario is played out, follow that thought with something like “my child is safe and protected in my arms. I’m so grateful for this life I’ve been giving to look after. I can never be made to do something I don’t want to do. I am kind and patient, I myself am love.”
My examples are extreme, but that’s how detrimental this can be. This will be unique to you. Keeping a journal will help you to identify what thoughts of truth you will need to speak over the lies playing in your head.
This is incredibly powerful and many people find relief that shows up shortly after. Thoughts that were there no longer re-occurring. Again, this is about taking your power back and overcoming the lies.
Let Your Mind Play Out the Best Case Scenario
Now that you have brought the darkness to the light this exercise is designed to give you even more control over what you think about.
Do this exercise similarly as the one above.
Let’s say you’re repeating thoughts are based on a real event. Take some time to sit down and think about it, but this time, change the ending.
If it’s a childhood trauma, go in as your adult self and change the outcome of the ending of that event. Or, imagine God being there and handing over the situation to the source, allowing the creator to handle that trauma.
This is a powerful technique that brings power, light, love, and justice into your psych showing your mind that there are other avenues of thinking, creating a mental and spiritual freedom.
You can develop control over your thoughts, and it’s your right to do so.
3.Think Thoughts That Are in Opposition to the Lies
People who suffer from bouts of intrusive thoughts have shown to have issues with chemicals in the brain responsible for sending communication between the neurons. Chemicals like serotonin and dopamine.
If you have a pattern of thinking does it affect the brain physically? You betcha. But the brain was molded in that way over time and can be molded back towards a healthy functioning brain too.
It’s monumentally important that you take time out of each day, hopefully, right when you wake up to practice some positive I ams’.
Claim your truth!
-I am love
-I am strong
-I am kind
-I am patient
-I am disciplined
-I am protected
-I am good
-I am cared about
-I am precious
Craft your I ams around negative thoughts that you have throughout the day. This is going to help strengthen your being and strengthen new pathways in your brain so when you come up against those intrusive thoughts you’ll be better prepared to battle them. This exercise alone, with or without unwanted thoughts will change your life.
The Dark Side Of Big Pharma
Why don’t people approach mental health problems with these techniques? Well, there’s big money made by the pharmaceutical companies and other agencies that are intertwined in mental health. It’s much better for them to keep you sick.
This isn’t to say that there hasn’t been some good intentions and breakthroughs in the field, but it’s been abused and the number one priority for big pharma is to help you maintain, and numb your emotions, not cure you.
However, you’re not about that and this is about healing the wounds and renewing the mind, not just putting a band-aid on a broken bone.
The potential issue with medications is one, the side effects. They can promote a person to do the exact thing the medicine was designed to combat and as the brain is numbed, the problem can and often does become worst, calling for higher doses because the root of the problem has not been solved.
Depending on how your brain is performing, medicines can be helpful but if you don’t do the work it’s going to get worse, not better.
Beat Disturbing Intrusive Thoughts
Having unwanted thoughts didn’t happen overnight so it’s important during this process that you give yourself some grace. Be kind to yourself during this process.
With these techniques, sometimes intrusive thoughts disappear overnight and sometimes the battle goes on for longer. But it’s your battle to win, don’t back down from the fight.
The peace and the freedom that you’ll experience in profound and it’ll only show you even more of who you are and the reality of this world we live in.
Be it a real trauma or something plaguing your mind at random, no, it’s wasn’t ok, but it did happen. Now it’s time to take your freedom back and find peace of mind.
Don’t lay down to the negative, don’t spend another day giving your power away.
I’ve been there and you aren’t alone, I promise. I know you can overcome this, keep moving forward. Sending you light and love always, be blessed.