Have you ever encountered unwanted thoughts or an image that gets stuck in your head? Usually, you can ignore it, you can move on, but sometimes it just keeps popping back into your brain.
These thoughts may be sticky, uncomfortable, and likely not something you want to think or fantasize about. So if you do not want to think about these thoughts, why are they happening? These thoughts are intrusive. These are the thoughts that you never invited.
You might also struggle to get rid of these thoughts; it seems as if the more times you push these thoughts away, it just comes back stronger.
What are intrusive thoughts?
Why do I think about a thought I don’t want? You may have heard this from someone before. We all face intrusive thoughts; just because everyone has them doesn’t mean that yours don’t matter.
An intrusive thought can be anything; it can be random disturbing images and violent ideas. It can be spontaneous in the sense that the brain continues to say, what if this were going to happen?
These thoughts might feel more important than they are. These constant and relentless thoughts can make you cringe and even question yourself. These thoughts come to you during the times when you want them the least. These thoughts are usually harmless, but if you obsess over them, put a value on them, or try to get them to stop, then that is where it can be harmful in the way that it interferes in your life. This can often might be due to mental health conditions.
Many cases of anxiety and depression are caused by intrusive thoughts. If you don’t know how to handle these thoughts, you might get trapped inside your own mind and face mental health issues.
Types of intrusive thoughts
1. Sexual thoughts
It is a natural force for a sexual thought to happen, they often come, and they go. They are very automatic, intrusive, and come in as a worry. Sexual intrusive thoughts can often include questionable images; they can be about anything or anyone.
2. Violent thoughts
These thoughts might be related to hurting yourself or hurting somebody else. It could be an intrusive thought like pushing someone in front of a car or window. It could be fairly aggressive and make you wonder if you would ever act upon these thoughts. These thoughts feel very real and graphic because they are not just thoughts; they are feelings.
3. Junk thoughts
You have no control over these thoughts, and they have zero relevance to your life. You can have an idea about an interaction you had with somebody else; it can just be a word that repeats in your brain over and over and over again.
Certain images keep coming back that have no value whatsoever. More than these thoughts causing distress, they may annoy. Individuals know that these thoughts do not matter, yet they can not get them out of their brains.
How to deal with these thoughts?
You don’t have to follow a plan
First of all, don’t come up with a list of things you will do to get these thoughts to go away. The second you devise a plan, you will probably have more thoughts. This is because you valued these thoughts when treating thought as a thought.
See a thought as a thought.
We see a thought as a thought; it doesn’t matter if it’s a harmful thought, scary thought, or a simple plain boring thought. We cannot stop these thoughts. Instead, we can practice responding to them differently, something like ‘i am loving these thoughts right now, your welcome to stick around; join the party.’
Take it easy
- If you start taking these thoughts lightly rather than obsessing over them, these thoughts start getting weaker with time.
- If you decide to respond in a way that you don’t care about these thoughts, it makes them fade away much more easily.
- If you think this does not work for you, your thoughts are much more graphic or weird, and you should not take this lightly, but thoughts are still only thoughts.
When you invite thought and leave the gates open, you will find that the thought doesn’t want to come, but if you force it to go away, then it surely keeps you awake during the middle of the night.
Personalized crystal and sound therapy
Many of the time, intrusive thoughts impact the mental well-being of the person. In such cases, one may need to take supplemental assistance of sound therapy or crystal therapy to offer soothing to self.
Alpha waves and sounds of 528 Hz can be used to alleviate the mood and push back the intrusive thoughts.
So, if you are revving up the engines and feeding gas to your unwanted thoughts, they will keep coming back. Thoughts love the rise they get out of you, but it doesn’t want to stay if you invite it. You might be reading this and saying, ‘when do I get these thoughts to go away then?’ we can not put a timeline on it; we don’t expect them to.
We don’t look for freedom; we accept where we are right now, we enjoy the ride, and the thoughts will slow down when they slow down. If we respond to these thoughts as if we don’t care about them, they don’t want to stick around very long.
Your job in the meantime is to live life. Let your thoughts be, don’t change your life around them, and you’ll get rid of them without even knowing that you did.