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Trying new ways to deal with intrusive thoughts

eve1234567890eve1234567890 Posts: 15 Settling in
Hi everyone, I’ve decided to try a new way to deal with my intrusive thoughts and overthinking, and that is to just ignore the thought completely. Not push it away as such, because that will just make matters worse, but more just not even acknowledging it and carrying on as if the thought never occurred. I’m doing this because usually when I have a thought I give it more meaning than it actually has and I then start to ruminate and obsess over it, so I’m just going to ignore it in the hope that they eventually just fade away? I’m not sure if this will work but I’ll update soon!
AislingDMlovemimoonPhoebsflowersmeilanaomi

Comments

  • SupernovaSupernova Posts: 729 Incredible Poster
    Hey @eve1234567890 I do have a couple of suggestions to add to that. Try to replace those thoughts when you have them with something different - be it a hobby, or a conversation with a friend, some work etc etc. While it can be good to push the thoughts away that are recurring and painful, you should still, on occasion, try to figure them out with somebody. Regular counselling sessions are a nice way to do this if you have access to them still.
    AislingDMeve1234567890ames
  • AislingDMAislingDM Posts: 343 Moderator
    I think it's really cool that you're looking for alternative ways of working through your intrusive thoughts @eve1234567890 ! As you say these things are always a trial and error process and we're here for you no matter what, whether it is effective or not <3 Love @Supernova 's suggestions these sound cool also =)
    eve1234567890naomi
  • meilameila Posts: 82 Budding Regular
    Hi @eve1234567890 :3 I hope you're feeling well! The fact that you're recognising the intrusive thoughts and building ways to deal with them, is amazing! <3 Your ideas sound great, and I totally agree with @Supernova that especially for overthinking, doing something else can be great! Whether it be talking or playing a game :3 I personally find that imagining the intrusive thoughts as a different entity from myself helps, because sometimes, they really do come out of nowhere and can catch me off guard 😂 I imagine them as people ringing the doorbell but being rude, so I don't answer the metaphorical door! :3
    I hope that makes sense and is useful in some way! :3 Here if you need a chit chat! <3
    lovemimooneve1234567890ames
  • KatKat Posts: 66 Boards Initiate
    Hiya @eve1234567890
    It's fantastic you are trying new ways to cope with your intrusive thoughts, that shows real determination. I agree with what everyone has already said. Another thing that might help is writing the thought on a piece of paper and then ripping up the paper and putting it in the bin. Maybe you could try that and see if it helps you're overthinking by physically getting rid of thought. I have always found writing down my thoughts can help get them out of my head and onto paper instead.
    Best of luck <3
    meilaeve1234567890ames
  • PhoebsflowersPhoebsflowers Posts: 63 Boards Initiate
    Hi @eve1234567890
    It's great that you are going to try and find new ways to deal with intrusive thoughts. I think you're right to acknowledge that pushing them away completely might not always be the most helpful since we all have feelings and it's okay to remember that they are there sometimes. However, it could potentially be beneficial to try and find new hobbies or ambitions to focus on which would make you feel more positive.
    I sometimes find it useful to make a list in my head of things I enjoy and decide how they might make me feel - whether that's being relaxed, happy, excited, etc. If I were to go and meet friends, watch a movie, read a book, exercise, for example, how do I think I would feel in the moment and afterwards?
    Also, like others have mentioned here, talking about your feelings might sometimes be a good way to manage them appropriately and find new strategies to cope with them <3
    eve1234567890
  • gracejeff20gracejeff20 Posts: 8 Confirmed not a robot
    Hi @eve1234567890
    Firstly it is really positive that you are able to recognise that some of the thoughts you are having are 'intrusive' and unhealthy. As a psychology graduate I have learned that a helpful way to deal with intrusive thoughts is to question them. By this I mean to have a conversation of sorts with the intrusive thoughts. When an intrusive thought occurs, challenge that thought - try and reason with that thought. Ask yourself, 'is that rational?'. Hopefully you will then be able to push that thought away because you reckoned with it and realised that it wasn't rational.

    This is just an option that you may want to try. Best of luck :)

    Grace
    meilaeve1234567890naomi
  • meilameila Posts: 82 Budding Regular
    @gracejeff20 Bang on! Challenging intrusive thoughts is such a good idea, because when you question the rationality behind them, they fall short more often than not. Intrusive thoughts are quite like cardboard cut outs of frightening things sometimes; they pop up quickly and can look huge, but literally have no substance to them!
    eve1234567890
  • eve1234567890eve1234567890 Posts: 15 Settling in
    Hi everyone, I’m going to be honest and say this didn’t really work :( I think ‘not interacting’ with the thoughts just kind of turned into subconsciously pushing the thoughts away which isn’t what I intended as when I push them away they come back worse.
    Anyway, now I’m going to try what @gracejeff20 suggested and challenge the thoughts instead. I think I sometimes do this to be honest and ask myself if the thoughts are really rational (they literally never are) but my brain still tries to tell me they are despite me knowing they’re not. I know the thoughts are complete bullshit (sorry) but I still worry about them which is so frustrating. It’s like I’ll have a thought and then think “okay well that is just a load of rubbish” and I’ll feel fine for half a second and then there’s always this follow up thought that says “well what if it’s not??” I WANT TO SCREAMMM :angry:

    Thank you everyone for your kind words, I’ll let you know if this new approach is working :)
    SupernovalovemimoonmeilaAislingDM
  • meilameila Posts: 82 Budding Regular
    Bless your heart @eve1234567890 best of luck! <3 You are doing fabulously, and we are always here if you need support :3<3
    eve1234567890
  • KatKat Posts: 66 Boards Initiate
    Hiya @eve1234567890

    I'm sorry that pushing the thoughts away didn't work for you and I understand how frustrated you must feel. But I really admire your resilience and positive attitude to keep trying to cope with your intrusive thoughts.

    It's great to challenge the initial thought but when you have the follow up thought of "well what if it's not" okay? make sure you challenge this thought as well, if that makes sense. Keep telling yourself that you have already decided the thought is irrational, and hopefully if you keep repeating this to yourself this should help.

    Challenging our thoughts can be really difficult, so it's great your trying it but try not to get disheartened if it doesn't work straight away. Often learning to almost 'reprogram' our brains will take time and lots of effort, so keep going.

    I have faith in you <3
    eve1234567890
  • eve1234567890eve1234567890 Posts: 15 Settling in
    Hi guys, I’ve been trying to challenge the thoughts and it definitely helps a bit but even though I’ve established that the thought is irrational and untrue it will not. stop. coming. back!!!! I honestly don’t know how much more of this crap i can deal with it’s literally on my mind every second of the day. It’s always this constant ‘oh my god, what if (insert something I don’t really want to say)??’ And even though I know it’s not true i just feel horrible and guilty all the time. I just want to curl up into a ball and never come out. I wish my brain had a mute button. It’s literally just this one thought and I obsess over it constantly!! If anyone has any more advice on how to challenge the thoughts it would be greatly appreciated because i don’t know how much longer i can carry on like this, it’s been like two months 😖😖😖
    lovemimoon
  • eve1234567890eve1234567890 Posts: 15 Settling in
    please someone reply i can’t do this anymore
  • lovemimoonlovemimoon 🦋 Posts: 2,021 Boards Champion
    Hey @eve1234567890

    Checking on you. How are you doing?
  • eve1234567890eve1234567890 Posts: 15 Settling in
    Hi @lovemimoon
    Thanks for checking on me, I’m doing a little better but I still feel awful about everything. I feel anxious as soon as I wake up and the only time I can catch a break is when I’m asleep
    Phoebsflowers
  • PhoebsflowersPhoebsflowers Posts: 63 Boards Initiate
    edited August 15
    Hi @eve1234567890

    I’m sorry to hear your strategy of trying to push the intrusive thoughts away didn’t go as planned. I think the process of trying to find a relevant coping strategy can sometimes take time as not everything will work for everyone and that’s okay.
    I wonder if you’ve ever tried any mindfulness or deep breathing exercises? They might potentially be useful to help you take control of your feelings and relax your mind when you feel stressed.

    The charity “Mind” have pages all about mindfulness: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/drugs-and-treatments/mindfulness/about-mindfulness/

    I hope this helps <3


    lovemimooneve1234567890
  • eve1234567890eve1234567890 Posts: 15 Settling in
    Thank you @Phoebsflowers I’ll have a look x
    Phoebsflowers
  • PhoebsflowersPhoebsflowers Posts: 63 Boards Initiate
    You’re welcome! x
  • naominaomi Posts: 85 Budding Regular
    Hey @eve1234567890 I hope that things are a bit better today, intrusive thoughts are the most annoying and aggravating thing in the world because no matter what you do they seem to demand your attention which is exhausting. I would say that combating the thoughts can be useful and as I have seen in the thread you have already tried challenging the thoughts, so can I suggest you writing the thought and then writing down something to directly combat that thought. I know a few people that do this with depressive or anxious thoughts because it combats any fear, anxiety or fiction with reality. I know it sounds like you are giving the thought the attention it wants but I think that if you do acknowledge it and then write it down you can follow it up with a reality. You could even pause and figure out what your reality is of that thought is. You can find quotes or a song that challenges the thought and write down the lyrics and listen to that song or something that you already believe in to directly say "no" to that thought. Hopefully after that you won't dwell on that thought because you have your truth to combat it with. You can even scribble out that thought once you have combatted it or simply rip it out of your book as if to remove it from your thought process.
    The thing about thoughts and feelings is that they can be replaced, it may not be easy and it takes time but with a firm foundation you can stick to then you won't have to worry about them. This is just an idea I think might improve your experience with these thoughts. Also, you can even go back to those notes when the thoughts come up again to remind yourself of the truth.
    I hope this and all the other suggestions will help, what is important is that you find something that works for you. <3
    lovemimooneve1234567890
  • eve1234567890eve1234567890 Posts: 15 Settling in
    Thank you @naomi I will try that x
    naomi
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