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Almost everyone has intrusive thoughts once and a while, so don’t blame yourself for having them. They can come out of nowhere and cause distress for individuals even though they often don’t have any particular meaning. The brain is an active organism that concocts limitless scenarios, thoughts, and desires. As long as you have no intention to act on your intrusive thoughts, and you can easily move on with your day, there’s rarely a cause for alarm.
Some casual tips to push aside unwanted thoughts include:
Consider taking some time from your day to meditate. Mindfulness meditation is all about calmly observing your thoughts and not judging them. This way of coping can give you the chance to accept that these thoughts exist and begin changing your relationship with them.
Remind yourself that every thought that we have is fleeting. Intrusive thoughts might seem like they’ll never go away, but there’s no such thing as a permanent state of mind. Adopt the mantra of ‘this too shall pass,’ and before you know it, it does.
Find ways to externalize your thoughts. Write them down in a journal as you typically think of them but then change or add to them in ways that make them less intrusive. Create your own happy ending.
Find small ways to preoccupy your mind. Go for a walk and count your steps. Read a book. Listen to music or a podcast. Cook up a complicated recipe. Reorganize your room.
Below I have some resources that have more ideas and information for you that might be helpful:
However, if these intrusive thoughts are severe and happen often, this might be cause for concern. We don’t want them interrupting the quality of your daily life. I would suggest speaking with a doctor or therapist about what sort of thoughts you’re having, how often they occur, and how they make you feel. In some instances, medication may be the preferred method to help you. If extenuating circumstances prevent you from seeking out traditional therapy, consider using Asking Jude's newest peer counseling services that are live, fully remote, and at a pay-what-you-can rate. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if these thoughts are in any way related to hurting yourself or others, reach out immediately to https://suicidepreventionlifeline.orgor call the hotline at 1-800-273-8255. They have the resources to aid you in the next appropriate steps.
I hope this helps,