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Overwhelmed with intrusive thoughts? Declutter your head with these expert-recommended tips

Published on:27 July 2021, 10:00am IST
There are some involuntary thoughts that come to mind, but if they cause any sort of interruption, then there’s a high chance that they are intrusive thoughts. Here’s all you need to know!
Sheetal Shaparia
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Intrusive thoughts
Intrusive thoughts can really impact your day-to-day life. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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How often do you come across thoughts that have no relevance, yet you can’t get over them? The annoying part is that you can’t even ignore them! Somehow, they just keep popping in your head, eventually disturbing your mind and making things difficult for you. These unwanted thoughts are intrusive thoughts. Nearly everyone has them, but no one can control them. They won’t harm you much unless they appear too often and start interrupting your daily life. Intrusive thoughts can be violent, negative or sexual thoughts. You can’t simply ignore them, but you can get rid of them by dealing with them. 

Here’s how:
Recognise the difference between reality and thoughts

Remember, intrusive thoughts are just thoughts. These thoughts are not a sign of what’s to come, and there is no intent to act on them. Let them pass freely through your mind and recognize them, but do not allow them to consume you. By acknowledging intrusive thoughts as just another thought, you’ll be less likely to worry about them over time.

Also read: Here’s how yoga can help you be more mindful and banish negative thoughts

Identify your triggers

Keeping a journal of your intrusive thoughts can help you understand patterns over time. Keep a record of your overall mood, and notes about your day.  As you start to notice similar thoughts appearing over time, refer back to those notes, and see if you can identify any patterns.

intrusive thoughts
It is important to take notice. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Go with the flow

Intrusive thoughts are the most upsetting, when you give them power over how they make you feel. There might not be ways to control the thoughts, but there are ways to control how you react to these thoughts, like letting them flow by.  Give time and let the thoughts flow by.

Do not try to push them away

For many people, the first reaction they have when faced with an intrusive thought is to try to forget about it.  The more you try to push these thoughts away, the more you will end up thinking about them. The best way to deal with an issue is to “deal” with them. Write down your thoughts or talk to someone about it and pour it all out.

Also read: Make note of these effective 5-minute techniques to dispel anxious thoughts

Procrastinate your thoughts

Throughout the course of your day, if an intrusive thought comes up, postpone it by reminding yourself that you’ll think about it later, and then redirect your attention elsewhere. To do this, create a dedicated time each day or once a week, when you deliberately recall, think about or write down your unwanted intrusive thoughts. 

intrusive thoughts
Intrusive thoughts are unwanted thoughts that can pop into our heads without warning, at any time. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Remind yourself it’s not under your control

Mostly, when we experience intrusive thoughts, we start blaming ourselves and get anxious. Remind yourself that these thoughts are automatic, unimportant, and not up to you.

Sheetal Shaparia Sheetal Shaparia

Sheetal Shaparia is a Life Coach who helps people in terms of love, money, career, happiness and experience the peace of knowing the right path to travel in life.