Visual metaphors like these have been surprisingly helpful in calming my anxious mind. You are not alone. To deal with intrusive thoughts, Recognize the thought. The only difference between an intrusive thought that pops into your head and then leaves, and an intrusive thought that is distressing, is how you respond to it. It felt overwhelming and as if this wasn’t enough already, I would have music stuck in my head all the time. And in other news, time to dust off my old copy of The Meditations and give it a read. I totally agree with you journaling works wonder. I find the obsessions much more manageable when I compare them to … I have been having an extremely hard time with obsessive thoughts so thank you for posting this. Thanks for your cooperation and enjoy the discussion! Simply accept that they’re there. As long as we keep dropping the stones or disturbing the water, there will always be ripples on its surface. Rather than fighting with it (that just makes the thought stronger), distance yourself by merely stating, “I’m having the thought that…” In 2005 I went though some serious PTSD and felt like I was in a black pit for almost a year — one album on the playlist was the only thing that made me feel anything positive. The drop of this stone has energized the water, which now creates ripples to expend that excess energy so that it can come to stillness once again. Remember, the amount of adrenaline secreted in your body is directly related to your stress level. A cure always starts with an understanding. Thought suppression is a common feature of problems such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) where individuals attempt to suppress intrusive thoughts. Whether you have minor intrusive thoughts or experience them as OCD, you can stop them from hindering your life. My therapist told me to name the intrusive thoughts. If my mind wanders at all then I have to start the song from scratch. The content of unwanted intrusive thoughts often focuses on sexual or violent or socially unacceptable images. It takes weeks or even months for the adrenaline in your bloodstream to return to normal levels. Working out and listening to podcasts has really helped me improve my overall mood where intrusive thoughts were less likely to bother me. I got that idea from a meditative yoga class when the teacher talked of the benefits of just "sitting with some emotion" to eventually release it. What happens now is that we start fighting or try to run away from these dreadful and intrusive thoughts. Journalling really really helps with unwanted & intrusive thoughts. ), the adrenaline powered mind starts to fire off thoughts as a way to expend the excess mental energy. I’m sure someone has asked this before but does anyone have tips on how to stop intrusive thoughts? Sometimes if something is really bothering me, it can be difficult to discern what's my imagination running wild and what's actually being said around me. Report comments that violate these rules. I've found that the things that work best with mental health usually sound a bit silly. When this adrenaline stops, the mind stops becoming agitated. Label these thoughts as “intrusive obsessive thoughts.” Remind yourself that these thoughts are automatic and you can safely ignore them. Discussion and support for sufferers and loved ones of any anxiety disorder. You got it right. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. This is why we try to distract ourselves in myriad different ways or keep fighting such intrusive thoughts. They can teach you to control your mind more effectively and prevent the random thoughts from galloping through your brain. Acceptance and dare I say, surrender go a long way than fighting. Most often an emotional release occurs and the thoughts and anxiety stop. Stress-induced adrenaline is similar to dropping a stone in a bowl of still water. When I was in the throes of anxiety, my mind would be beset by the same intrusive thoughts every day. I think it does for primarily 2 reasons. Most often, these are thoughts that can range from mildly unpleasant to utterly scary! It gnaws deep in your brain, burrows through decisions and keeps replayng memories in your mind. Kinda follow up to my last post about this, but I’ve been trying things to distract myself or comfort myself when i have intrusive thoughts about suicide, but they’re still as frequent as before. Most of my writing comes from personal experience and also through the experience of my clients. To stop these unwanted or intrusive thoughts, we need to stop adding more stress into the mix. You can journal to take the excess energy build up out of your mind. This effect is stronger for thoughts that have emotional content. Now I just need to get a handle on my depression, I don't know if the same thing applies to that. hide. In most cases, that something we do is to find different ways to distract our attention away from such thoughts. On the other hand, when we stop fighting and instead of running away from such thoughts, remain internally steady, we send a signal to our body that the current situation is not a threat and that it can stop producing the excess adrenaline. How to stop OCD intrusive thoughts depends on the severity of the problem. It was rough. I find whenever I'm not actually listening to music, I'm "listening to music" in my head. Parent comments that aren't from the target group will be removed, along with their child replies. Posts that have few relevant answers within the first hour, and posts that are not appropriate for the [Serious] tag will be removed. save. "The act of trying to stop them actually makes them more readily available in … Not a licensed therapist, but I do have adequate training to be a counselor. Anxiety is a state where our mind is never at rest. Now, when my brain produces an unsettling, disturbing thought, more often than not I … ), the adrenaline powered mind starts to fire off thoughts as a way to expend the excess mental energy. Be aware of it without judging it. ... help Reddit App Reddit coins Reddit premium Reddit gifts. This additional stress produces more adrenaline, which keeps these thoughts going. How to Stop Intrusive Thoughts Face the intrusive thoughts. Therapists may ask patients to undergo an obsessive-compulsive disorder test to determine the severity of the condition. 10 comments. Intrusive thoughts are the strange and often ridiculous things that pop into your head when you’re going about your life. When there is excessive adrenaline, it starts to affect the way we think. That helps a lot thanks!I have not been diagnosed with anxiety,haven't visited any doctor but i suffer from uncontrollable thoughts that stress me so much.It doesn't happen to me all the time but often enough.I usually am not able to sleep because i feel so anxious and i feel like there is a weight on my chest.Do you think i can fight it on my own without therapy? So idk if this works for everyone. We develop the resilience that even when anxiety can scare or threaten us and sometimes knock us down, we can still get up and continue where we left off. My mind runs in unintended directions and unwanted thoughts intrude at the worst possible times. Not CBD. When this happens, the body learns to stop secreting additional adrenaline in your blood. Hey you, scrolling past this. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. The basic principles of modern psychoanalysis have been founded on the idea of repressed memories, and the methods one can employ to bring these memories to light, and help people deal with them. Whatever the thoughts are, they are bothering you for a reason because the content in the thoughts hit a nerve that deals with something in your life. In both cases, the patient desperately tries to … Our mind is similar, such that when we are healthy, it remains still and takes care of the essential functions of day to day activities. As I've mentioned in other comments in this thread, fighting only does more harm than help. Let the thought play out in your mind. report. To finish answering why the thoughts are about bad things , you also need to attend to them. This creates additional stress, which produces more adrenaline. Thank you very much. I almost read it wrong too. Intrusive thoughts can be persistent and cause significant distress in some people. Discover ways to manage the flow of PTSD intrusive thoughts , such as by using self-monitoring techniques and correcting errors in thinking, in this informative article. Music gives me something to focus on and a way to address what I'm dealing with constructively, as I can focus on the words, music, or tone of the song and not worry about everything around me. Therapy helps a lot but it also helps in developing your own inner strength and resilience. I recently got diagnosed with GAD and OCD after battling post-partum anxiety for two years. How can you stop intrusive thoughts? r/AskReddit is the place to ask and answer thought-provoking questions. I don't know how my life would be without metaphors and analogies. The distance and making it seem like a choice help. Thank you so very much. Also if you tell people your intrusive thoughts, it’s a lot easier to laugh and disregard them. Has something to do with separating the thought with yourself. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Depression is similar too. 2. My therapist told me to name the intrusive thoughts. I named him "Fucking Cunt". If you don’t believe me just challenge these intrusive thoughts that popped up in your head and try to find any and I mean ANY evidence of them being true, accurate or relevant. How can you turn your mind from being engulfed in the uninvited? When you get distressed by an intrusive thought, this alerts your brain as something important. My intrusive thoughts can derail my whole day, and stop me from forming meaningful relationships or pursuing fulfilling hobbies because I am too busy planning for disaster, or thinking I don't deserve happiness. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns. Intrusive thoughts can hurt you and ruin a perfect moment you are having. I really, really needed to read this. You’ve set off a red flag in your brain and now your brain is on the lookout for this intrusive thought. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. hello, I am a therapist trained in Anxiety/OCD disorders and this sounds very much like what we call "Primarily-Obsessional OCD." With more and more adrenaline being pumped in, our mind tries to spend this excess energy in the form of thoughts (just like the ripples on the water’s surface). 2 We need to break this adrenaline-thought cycle. I've found it helps if I put a song on and force myself to listen to every word. This is an important point. Often, the harder people try to rid themselves of these thoughts, the … I named him "Fucking Cunt". I literally have hours long playlists I'll just imagine playing. This is similar to what happens in our head. Fantastic post. Do … We can learn how to make them go away. Try to relax, and as you do so, your mind will find something else to focus on and the thought will go away on its own. Adrenaline agitates the mind. I wanted to add a section in the article which talks exclusively about journaling and free association but did not because I wanted to keep this within 1200 words. My intrusive thoughts are connected to a disorder. If you’ve already been avoiding the problem for some time, you may also have co-occurrence disorder as a result of negative behaviors. Everyone has intrusive thoughts, but people with Pure OCD also have an anxiety disorder, so when they see uncomfortable images, they start … Once you understand why your mind is riddled with unwanted or intrusive thoughts, you’ll be able to make them go away. ... help Reddit App Reddit coins Reddit premium Reddit gifts. It's so hard to focus on the song but it usually pushes me out the intrusive thought wave. If you try to stop thinking of the intrusive thoughts, you’re most likely making it worse. Doing so only produces additional stress. Our mind cannot hide from or fight itself. Even when we feel like we are resting for a few minutes, we are hyper vigilant in the background and scan for internal and external threats. In order to get rid of intrusive thoughts OCD, the person may get involved in what therapists call “rituals”. What seems to be so true when it lurks in your mind can seem so juvenile or harmless when it's put into words. I know it’s been like i think a few days, but i thought at least a little bit they would be less frequent. I've been finding lately that trying to fight anxiety is the wrong thing to do. Second, when you put your thoughts down on paper (or the computer screen), they lose their power. OCD, which stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is when we have, among other things, an obsession with certain thought patterns and feel a compulsive urge to do something about it. For me, knowing that my intrusive thoughts weren’t things I wanted to act on really helped me cope. It would be nonsensical. By nature, water in a bowl is still. But my belief (and also backed up by many people who have successfully recovered) is that fighting causes more harm than help. Jokes, puns, and off-topic comments are not permitted in any comment, parent or child. Exactly! I've been told to do that too or think of your intrusive thoughts as an obnoxious 12 year old you're against in an online game. But when there is no immediate outside threat, as it is mostly the case with the vast majority of people with anxiety (how often do we encounter a hungry lion on our daily commute? Your water/stone analogy reminds me of a quote from The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius: "Be like the cliff against which waves continually break, yet stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it.". My perspective is to not see it as a fight. This may provide some relief, but often, these thoughts almost always return. We develop the inner strength to come out through the anxiety storm. The easiest way to break this adrenaline-thought cycle is to stop the adrenaline from being secreted over and over again. Just a fusion of unrelated words and concepts traveling at lightning speed inside my head. Know that they are just excess mental energy and that they cannot do you any harm. Press J to jump to the feed. Thank you, just knowing others are going through something similar helps. Cookies help us deliver our Services. All that means is that there exists the presence of intrusive thoughts (the obsessional part) and the compulsive part tends to be more internal/mental actions v. external behaviors like hand-washing, etc. I find myself thinking "Do I like being angry/scared/whatever? One, it's a way for your energized (agitated) mind to blow steam. I had thought they were basically the same thing and the OCD was just the intrusive thoughts and the strange coping mechanisms I'd developed. Intrusive thoughts usually fall into one (or more) of these categories, but they may be on an entirely different topic or in a different realm—the important thing that separates an intrusive thought from a run-of-the-mill thought is that it is distressing to you and that you’d probably rather not have the thought! Thoughts that stay with us are first attracted to us by the attention we pay them and then stuck firmly in place by the level of emotional reaction we have to them. P.S: If anyone's interested, look up 'morning pages', from the Artist's Way. Try journaling, I don't have anyone to speak my mind to so to speak but jotting them out on paper seems to help. The mind feels energized and spends this excess energy by firing off many thoughts that are aimed to tackle the threat. Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Reddit LinkedInHow to Stop Intrusive Thoughts They’re there, they’re unwanted, they’re dreaded. This is very helpful. I named them after my mom because I realized they were just the things she used to say. They flow with such force that it seems unstoppable. Most of my intrusive thoughts — the intense phase, anyway — have a lifespan of two or three days. If you’ve been dealing with this for a while, the prospect of […] Accept and allow the thoughts into your mind. It seems so hard for me to not fight the thoughts though. share. CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Hip hop has been the only thing that drowns them well for me. Has something to do with separating the thought with yourself. When we are in danger, we need to think and act fast. Various techniques, such as meditation, mindfulness, as well as the acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) can help you with intrusive thoughts. I sometimes get intrusive thoughts of really disgusting sexual things that I never want to think about. I've read similar articles recently, but I do think for me, it does bear repeating that these thoughts don't hurt me, despite what I may think in the moment. If I have a thought that demeans me, I'll demean it back, and so on. Because of the mind-body connection, when we are in this mental state, our body starts to produce adrenaline in excess. We switch on the TV, put on our headphones and listen to music or keep checking our mobile phones regularly. One piece of caution is that this practice requires patience. I would constantly think “Am I going insane?” While another part of me would wonder “Will it always be like this?”. It's really tempting to see anxiety as the villain trying to destroy your life so you do everything to fight him. My therapist also told me to try to reason with them, for example if theyre saying you're ugly or whatever i start reasoning with myself and say i might not be the prettiest but i have good qualities it tends to help a little bit. And this doesn't mean we are coward, it means that we are smart. You do that by letting your body and mind know that these thoughts are not a threat. Me too. I haven't spoken to her in over a decade so I shouldn't keep listening to the echoes she left in my head. We need to break this adrenaline-thought cycle. Next time, when you have such thoughts, try to face them. Give your body and mind all the time it needs to return to the healthy stillness which is their true nature. By letting these intrusive thoughts come and go as they wish and not fighting them, you are not considering them as a threat. I have a playlist for when I have intrusive thoughts. This leads to the eventual extinction of intrusive and unwanted OCD thoughts. So idk if this works for everyone. If you have ever wondered how to stop intrusive thoughts or even what they are, this article is for you. Over time, the mind spends all of its excessive energy and returns to a place of stillness and stops producing these automatic unwanted thoughts. Then why do I think these things?" Once you get stuck in a ruminating thought cycle, it can be hard to get out of it. But we develop this strength not to fight. But when there is no immediate outside threat, as it is mostly the case with the vast majority of people with anxiety (how often do we encounter a hungry lion on our daily commute? It works sometimes. I did a lot of weightlifting (have to get back into it) and it really made my day excellent! Can't stop fighting intrusive thoughts. Just don't let the fuckers win. This excess adrenaline, when it reaches the brain, energizes the mind even more and the cycle thus perpetually continues. To stop these unwanted or intrusive thoughts, we need to stop adding more stress into the mix. The nature of your mind is to return to stillness just like water. When i get the thoughts i just say, aye fuck off you fucking cunt. I counsel people who have anxiety and depersonalization/derealization disorder. I am trying to beat the adrenaline with exercise and calming routines. Avoid RUMINATING It’s not the intrusive thoughts in themselves that cause you distress. Let’s open up the can of worms and see what we can learn. It's tough to fight then both but it's possible to keep them on a leash. What works is I just sit with the emotion behind the intrusive thoughts in meditation for 15 minutes or so. I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. 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