Scroll down or click to read: 1.What are Intrusive Thoughts? 2. Why do intrusive thoughts happen? 2.1 Intrusive Thoughts Info-graph. 3. Intrusive thought examples. 4. How to cope with Intrusive Thoughts.
1️⃣ What are Intrusive Thoughts?
The terms intrusive thoughts and rumination are interchangeable. They describe your thoughts when without warning they become stuck on an infinite replay cycle. No matter how hard you try pushing these ‘thought worms’ away, they won’t budge. Not only are you dealing with living in play-rewind-repeat mode but you also have to deal with the worry that you are going crazy.
Never ending thoughts are the dullest things. They stretch out and there’s no end to themJean-Paul Sartre
It feels safer to ignore/avoid the:
2️⃣ Why do intrusive thoughts happen?
Intrusive thoughts or thoughts on play-rewind-repeat mode happen as a way for your brain to deal with the uncertainty of a situation that is worrying you, by ‘experiencing’ all possible scenarios so you will be equipped to deal with any outcome.
No one is sure what causes intrusive thoughts. But some researchers think they may be due to an imbalance of a brain chemical known as GABA.
One of the side effects of listening to these non stop bad thoughts about yourself is you start to feel uneasy that the bad things your thoughts are telling you about yourself are true.
They are not! Let me repeat that. You are not a bad person and you have behaved as perfectly as the situation and your cooing strategies have allowed you to.
2️⃣.1️⃣ Intrusive Thoughts Info-graph.
When things start to spiral out of your control and you fell as if you won’t be able to cope. Your brain, does what it does best and churns out more intrusive thoughts to try to wrestle back control and edits the replays to make you are in control of the situation and you are not in danger. If this stress chemical releasing editing process goes onto long,it becomes counter productive. And your brain is in danger of drowning in stress chemicals.
So the brain changes tactics and throws out a physical discomfort ‘warning’ as is more difficult to ignore than emotional discomfort. Causing you to seek medical treatment from your ‘enemies’ as you feel ‘below par’, ‘unwell’ and lack energy.
3️⃣ Intrusive thought examples
▶️ Re playing the discussion you had with a treatment provider or complaint handler. But this time editing it to include things you wish you had said and dine.
▶️ Fears that your concerns have been not been taking seriously and misdiagnosed or misrepresented. (see discrediting &/or character assassination.)
▶️ Unexpected and unpredictable flashbacks to unpleasant events.
4️⃣ How to cope with Intrusive Thoughts
▶️ Don’t stress as Intrusive thoughts are normal. Everyone experiences them. But these thoughts are not real. They are an interpretation of what you imagine could be a real situation. The emphasis here is on interpretation.
One of the coping mechanisms for dealing with intrusive thoughts can be through the escape of avoidance as you don’t know how to else to deal with them.
Try not to focus on or react to the thoughts. Don’t try to figure out the hidden meaning and ignore any tension you feel in your body as if you ignore it, it will pass. Trying to run and hide from a fearful thought with your own feelings of fear qualifies it. As they lose their power when you simply accept them.
▶️ Practice letting them flow into your brain and out again. You may wish to synchronise this ‘into the brain and out again’ mantra with your breath. ‘Into the brain’, breath in and ‘out again’, breathe out. Slowly and deeply.
▶️ Promise yourself you will try each of the activities below at least once for a maximum of ten minutes to see if they work for you.
➡️ yoga. (30 days of Yoga with Adrienne is a good place to start)
➡️ gratitude practice or
▶️ Distract yourself.
➡️ Do a sudoko puzzle,
➡️ buy an adult colouring book or
➡️ go for a walk.