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Intrusive Thoughts

Intrusive thoughts can be extremely distressing and worrying. We think we must be a bad person if we’re thinking violent or bad thoughts.

But this isn’t so at all. It doesn’t make you a terrible person, and it doesn’t mean you’re going to do anything bad. Thoughts don’t equal reality. They are just thoughts, and everyone has them.

How is it best to deal with problematic emotions such as intrusive thoughts then? What can we do to cure ourselves, so that these emotions diminish and become much less of a problem in the future?

I’ve suffered from these types of feelings for years, so I have quite a bit of experience with this sort of thing. They’ve caused a lot of depression and upset for me, so I began to look into this area and do a bit of research. I needed to know how to cure myself, you see.

Well, first of all, I will discuss a little about negative thought patterns here. How they are caused. Well, some people think that negative thoughts are caused by our poor emotional state. Others say our poor emotional states are caused by these intrusive thoughts. I believe that both can be true.

Whatever the case may be, intrusive thoughts can cause extreme worry, and sufferers have to try to resolve their problems. So how do we do that?

Well, firstly it’s right to say that can’t stop thinking per se, but we can alter our mind processes so that intrusive thoughts become much less of a problem.

What I have learnt is that fighting to get rid of these emotions doesn’t work. If you try to repel them, and fight against them, it makes them come back again and again, possibly even stronger than they were in the first place. That’s the energy. If you fight against something, it will start to fight back. It will become even more intense.

Instead, we need to accept these thoughts, and work through them. If you meditate, this is a great way to work with with these emotions. However, even if you don’t, you can still do it in daily life. In this way, we will process our feelings in a way that will eventually disperse all of the energy involved.

There are so many methods we can use to resolve our issues with intrusive and negative thought patterns. Here are just a few.

One idea is just to try to think of something else, when these negative thought patterns strike. If we fill our minds with positivity and joy, there’s less chance that intrusive thoughts will creep in.

Alternatively, you could encourage negative thought patterns to carry on. Or even observe the negative thoughts and let them float away. 

Another idea is, when you’re worrying, to just go and do something different. This will change your thought pattern.

You can also try to ignore the negative thoughts. Use positive self-talk and tell yourself that they’re not true, because they usually aren’t.

As you see, there are several ways of dealing with invasive thoughts. Do what works for you, and keep with it.

But, above all, don’t try to suppress these negative thought patterns. Good luck guys.


I also have a blog, at http://www.ibeatmysocialanxiety.com. Please drop by, if you can, and subscribe to get updates about social anxiety and mental health in general. Many thanks! John

Intrusive Thoughts

John Hammond


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APA Reference
Hammond, J. (2016). Intrusive Thoughts. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 15, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/social-anxiety/2016/09/dont-suppress-intrusive-thoughts/

 

Last updated: 2 Sep 2016
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Sep 2016
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.