Intrusive thoughts are classed as thoughts, images or a voice, which you find disturbing and are unwanted. They seem to come out of nowhere and you find it difficult to shift them. These thoughts can lead to obsessions as a means to try and control the thoughts.
It may be reassuring to know that everyone has unwanted thoughts; they pop into your head all the time. It’s important to understand what to do with intrusive thoughts, rather than focusing on the thoughts, focus on how to deal with them instead.
- Try to dismiss the intrusive thoughts, like you would any other thought, don’t focus on them as this intensifies the thoughts and the feelings associated with that thought
- Tell your thoughts to go away without getting into a dialogue with your mind
- Remind yourself it’s just a thought, nothing more
- Keep doing what you were doing before the thought came into your head: don’t change your behaviour
Your mind goes by what’s consistent or significant if you consistently do the same thing over and over again, it becomes easier because your mind will eventually get used to it and it then becomes the norm. Consistency is key for any change.