Intrusive thoughts & mental health

Intrusive thoughts are thoughts that pop into your head that are beyond your control and can become obsessive.
They are thoughts that you do not want, and obsessions that you certainly would rather not have! It is something I have learned to deal with over the years, it can be anything from an unwanted image or a scenario that plays in your mind that can cause so much upset and can be very hard to manage or eliminate.

The hardest one I feel like I have had to deal with to date is “losing the closest person to me”, it’s a thought that creeps in, can be very graphic and very upsetting. It can pop up out of nowhere.

I haven’t found a way to get rid intrusive thoughts, however, there are ways I have been shown through therapy to cope with the unwanted thoughts:

1) You need to recognize if the thought is truly intrusive. Are you obsessing over something you don’t want to? Is the thought popping up at times when it doesn’t make any sense? Is it upsetting you?
2) Acknowledge these thoughts when they happen. Tell yourself it is your mind producing these thoughts and try to distract yourself.
3) Take a deep breath. If you practice meditation, this a brilliant time to take 10 minutes out to practice it. Give yourself time.
4) Don’t judge your thoughts. Understand that these thoughts are part of your illness, so there isn’t any need to feel guilty, they aren’t wanted thoughts!
5) Try and replace the thought.  This is the tricky part, try and think of a “happy” or “positive” thought. Its easier said than done! But remember that these thoughts are created in your mind, they are not truly what you think or are not truly a part of you.

Intrusive thoughts can happen to everyone. It’s how you cope with them that defines how much they’ll rule your life.

In the end, it’s absolutely crucial that you work with a professional to find out how to help you cope with intrusive thoughts if you are finding it is having a negative effect on your day to day life.

If you would like to write to me, follow me on Facebook @mswillowbipolar!

Lots of love,

Ms Bipolar  X

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