How to stop intrusive thoughts: 8 effective ways

Having intrusive thoughts is one of the worst experiences you can have. It’s the same as over-thinking, where you can’t stop or control your thoughts, even if you want to. It is not the act of having intrusive thoughts that makes him mortal, but focusing on them and believing in them. So when you believe even the unwanted thoughts in your head, whether valid or invalid, that’s when your life gets worse. Your thoughts shape your life, after all. In this article, we’ll talk about everything you need to know about stopping intrusive thoughts.

What are intrusive thoughts?

Like our emotions, our thoughts are just as difficult to control. Some may even find it an impossible task to control their thoughts because of how difficult it is. Intrusive thoughts are ideas that come to mind without warning. They’re repetitive, and no matter how many guarantees you get from someone else, or even if you’ve already tried them, they still come back. This is what makes intrusive thoughts so toxic and exhausting. It is a cycle of endless thoughts full of fear, insecurity and other negative emotions that you may be harboring. Intrusive thoughts can take the form of a recurring past event, thoughts full of doubt and fear, insecurities, or self-destructive thoughts. If you are prone to believe in these thoughts, your thoughts will negatively affect your life.

What Makes Intrusive Thoughts Harmful?

Your thoughts will always guide your life, as your mind is the most powerful part of you. Every behavior, action, and decision is based on your thoughts and ideas. So if you tend to believe in your intrusive thoughts, everything about your life will be affected. The thing is, everyone has intrusive thoughts. Our thoughts are especially difficult to control or change. However, the best way to deal with your unwanted thoughts is to respond accordingly. You don’t have to believe in all the thoughts you have, but you can filter out which of your thoughts are rational and irrational.

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How do you know if your thoughts are intrusive?

If you have repetitive thoughts that are disturbing and something you want to get out of your mind, they are intrusive thoughts. Remember that intrusive thoughts are often negative, so it’s easy to know when you’re wrong. Especially if these are the thoughts you are constantly rethinking or come from your insecurities and fears, these are the thoughts you need to overcome. Intrusive thoughts will prevent you from living your best life, whether you realize it or not.

How to stop intrusive thoughts

Man lost in his thoughts

It is essential to know how to manage or stop your intrusive thoughts completely if you want to control the cycle of having the same thoughts over and over in your head. Here are some ways to combat this harmful habit.

1. Face your problems

Your intrusive thoughts keep coming back because you refuse to deal with the issue at hand. Maybe it’s a trauma you’ve experienced in the past or a bad childhood. These two examples are difficult situations to get caught up in, and even if they are in the past, it is easy to still feel traumatized by these events. If you want to get rid of your recurring thoughts, you have to deal with the root of your problems. Of course, it’s easier said than done, but you have to deal with your problems. Face your trauma or any problem you have not yet experienced, and even if it feels uncomfortable and scary, it is necessary. Otherwise, you will continue to repress your thoughts, giving rise to intrusive thoughts that are difficult for you to control.

2. Separate rational thoughts from irrational ones

Your ability to separate your rational thoughts from irrational ones is all about stopping intrusive thoughts. Your rational thoughts refer to your thoughts that are real and valid. These are evidence-based thoughts and real facts, while irrational thoughts come from fear, insecurity, and doubt. It would be better if you learned to separate the two to better manage your intrusive thoughts. When you know that a particular thought is irrational, it is much easier to know how to react. For example, if your thinking keeps reminding you that you are worthless and you know that this is an irrational thought, you can learn not to believe it and let it go.

3. Incorporate more gratitude into your life

Gratitude is the only thing people lack when it comes to their intrusive thoughts. It’s easy to focus on everything you lack without valuing what you have. Then it will lead you to complain about what you don’t have, instead of just having everything you need. Sometimes changing your thoughts requires more gratitude. When it comes to counteracting all negative emotions, be they anger, pain, resentment, insecurity, or fear, gratitude is a much stronger emotion than all of these combined. When you lead an optimistic life with a positive mental attitude, this also changes the way you think about certain things and situations.

4. Change your mindset

Your mindset is closely related to your ability to manage or control your thoughts. Without the right mindset, you will lead a negative life. If you think that your negative traits will only define you or that you will never achieve anything, this is exactly what will happen. You have to change your mindset especially if you really want to stop having intrusive thoughts. This applies to all of your life experiences, traumas, problems, and situations. Your ability to handle your negative thoughts is reduced to your mindset, so having a negative mindset will lead to a negative life.

5. Incorporate healthy habits

If your intrusive thoughts are your ability to manage stress, it is vital that you choose healthy habits. Whether it’s exercise or diet, your habits can help you cope better with your difficult emotions. In fact, some people exercise not because of the physical benefits but because it helps them get out of their intrusive thoughts and think more rationally. This applies to any habits you may incorporate into your life that may help with your thoughts. You can also choose to include meditation, as it is one of the recommended breathing techniques that will help you to be aware and better control your thoughts. Especially when you find it impossible to control your thoughts, this is where healthy habits can prove useful.


6. Create an anxiety diary

Creating an anxiety diary can be helpful in that you have an outlet for all of your thoughts while helping to stop intrusive thoughts. You can write down all your irrational and rational thoughts without filtering out which ones are valid. This is honestly the best way to let go of your thoughts, especially the repetitive ones. By the time you write them down, if this thought is repeated again, you will remember that you already had this thought. This is also a great opportunity to reflect on the pattern behind your irrational thoughts. If you notice that they come from your trauma, for example, you already know what to expect with each thought you have.

7. Let go of your thoughts

Just as emotions are temporary, so are your thoughts. So even though it seems endless and unbearable, you have to realize that it will finally happen. If you don’t stick to your thoughts, you shouldn’t care. It’s much harder than it sounds, but don’t give power to your intrusive thoughts, realize that most of those thoughts are invalid and come from a place of fear and anxiety. Just let them pass and they will eventually disappear. However, obsessing over and concentrating on it will encourage those thoughts to come back again and again. The more you let yourself be distracted by the thoughts, the better.

8. Talk to a counselor

If all of the above doesn’t work, you can always talk to an advisor. There is nothing wrong with seeking the help of a professional, especially when it comes to managing your thoughts. Knowing how to stop intrusive thoughts can be the hardest thing you can ever do, so getting the help you need could eliminate those thoughts once and for all. Most importantly, an advisor will give you advisable coping mechanisms to deal with your difficult thoughts.

Take away

In conclusion, this is all you need to know about how to stop intrusive thoughts. While intrusive thoughts are normal, this does not make them easy to deal with. Your thoughts affect your emotions and eventually your whole life, so if you are the individual who dares to intrude on your thoughts, this can prevent you from living your life. This can lead to the wrong set of choices and actions on your behalf, all due to misconceptions and misconceptions. So, the above tips can help you improve your life and add more gratitude.


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