Intrusive thoughts can be a difficult challenge in life. In this blog post, we will discuss how to manage intrusive thoughts when they arise in the moment. And, we’ll look at long term strategies to decrease the overall frequency of these intrusive thought occurrences.
Where Do Intrusive Thoughts Come From?
The research is unclear as to where intrusive thoughts originate from as the brain continues to be researched. Whichever part of the brain is involved in thought creation and/or filtering thoughts (possibly the prefrontal cortex) may either be in overdrive or have limited influence to filter these thoughts out. Intrusive thoughts can make it difficult to interact with others and live a life you desire.
Short-Term Strategies to Manage Intrusive Thoughts
There are some short-term strategies that can help when intrusive thoughts arise; however, these are only temporary. Research suggests that when we work to suppress our thoughts and emotions they come back with more intensity.
- Engage in intense exercise – this will help regulate the nervous system and distract the mind
- Utilize mindfulness and meditation techniques – this can help calm the mind and body
- Increase awareness of triggers – if we can identify triggers we can limit stimuli that influences intrusive thoughts
- Question whether the thoughts are accurate – trying to ensure thoughts are balanced can help to defuse the emotion(s) that surround intrusive thoughts
Long-Term Strategies to Manage Intrusive Thoughts
- Make mindfulness and exercise a part of your regular routine
- Engage in individual therapy near you – cognitive behavioral or acceptance and commitment therapies can help support separation from intrusive thought material
- Practice self-compassion – which is difficult to do but no one is perfect
- Heal from past trauma – sometimes intrusive thoughts stem from past stressful events or moments where we experience overwhelm
Individual Therapy for Intrusive Thoughts
An individual therapist can bring peace to your mind and body by helping you understand where intrusive thoughts stem from, what factors influence them, and how to bring peace into your life. Call now, 720.295.6702, or submit an online form here to begin the recovery process.