9 Ways to Cope With Intrusive Thoughts - Deepstash
9 Ways to Cope With Intrusive Thoughts

9 Ways to Cope With Intrusive Thoughts

psychcentral.com

6

Keep reading for FREE

Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation

  • One of the core principles of mindfulness is learning how to calmly observe your thoughts, without judging or becoming emotionally tangled up in them.
  • This can make it a great way to cope with intrusive thoughts because you’re not denying that the thoughts are present — just changing your relationship with them.
  • You don’t need any special equipment to start meditating, just a few spare moments, and somewhere quiet to practice, if possible.
  • There are also lots of meditation apps available, with courses specifically geared toward beginners and people living with intrusive thoughts, that may help you.

11

147 reads

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

  • CBT is a type of psychotherapy that can be effective for all kinds of thought disorders.
  • It can be especially helpful for intrusive thoughts that become obsessive because it helps to create distance between a person and their thoughts.
  • CBT is based on the idea that our thought patterns can be unlearned or changed. A CBT therapist can work with you to identify your intrusive thoughts, process them, and reframe them so that they aren’t as powerful.

12

128 reads

Remember, ‘This too shall pass’

  • This is a simple but powerful mantra that may help you to regain perspective.
  • When an intrusive thought occupies your brain, it can sometimes feel like it will never go away. But thoughts are always temporary, and there is no such thing as a permanent state of mind.
  • Identifying a mantra like “This too shall pass,” or “My thoughts are temporary” could be helpful in reducing their power.

15

127 reads

Visualization techniques

Visualizing your thoughts can allow you to feel more in control of them.

For example, you could picture your mind as a blue sky, and your thoughts as passing clouds. Some of the clouds are light, and some dark, but none of them are permanent.

This is a mindfulness technique known as thought clouds, but it can be used outside of meditation practice.

12

122 reads

Spend time with a pet

Animals can be incredibly calming to an anxious mind. They have no understanding of our complex, troubled thoughts, so they can provide distraction and uncomplicated emotional support.

In addition, animal-assisted therapy for trauma is becoming more common.

10

116 reads

Externalize the thought

Our brains can be incredibly good at telling us stories that feel like reality. So, an intrusive thought can take on outsized power when it only exists in your mind.

Consider externalizing the thought, by journaling or even just speaking it out loud, and see whether the impact of it changes.

12

119 reads

Ground yourself in the present

Intrusive thoughts can often lead you to focus on the negative and create stories that aren’t based on reality. Without even realizing it, you may be spending a lot of your time living in the past, or obsessing about the future.

Focusing on the present moment can be a powerful way to manage this.

Grounding techniques that can help you center your focus may include:

  • deep breathing
  • active meditation
  • body scan meditation.

12

111 reads

Take a walk in nature

According to the American Psychological Association, there’s a lot of evidence that spending time in nature can boost mental health and sharpen cognitive abilities.

Taking a walk or jog in a green space can help you to break a cycle of rumination, by engaging your body and your senses in a way that gets your mind off your thoughts.

9

97 reads

Approach the thought with curiosity

Not all of these tips will be practical in every situation. But one thing you can always try to do is reframe the intrusive thought you’re having.

Consider observing your thoughts without judgment, and approaching them with curiosity by turning your attention to how your body responds to certain thoughts that may arise.

Distressing thoughts could be your brain’s way of processing something.

10

98 reads

CURATED BY

hapra

Engineer for chemical

Becoming aware of your intrusive thought patterns is the first step toward breaking the cycle.

Ready for the next level?

Read Like a Pro

stash-superman-illustration

Explore the World’s

Best Ideas

200,000+ ideas on pretty much any topic. Created by the smartest people around & well-organized so you can explore at will.

An Idea for Everything

Explore the biggest library of insights. And we've infused it with powerful filtering tools so you can easily find what you need.

Knowledge Library

Powerful Saving & Organizational Tools

Save ideas for later reading, for personalized stashes, or for remembering it later.

# Personal Growth

Take Your Ideas

Anywhere

Organize your ideas & listen on the go. And with Pro, there are no limits.

Listen on the go

Just press play and we take care of the words.

Never worry about spotty connections

No Internet access? No problem. Within the mobile app, all your ideas are available, even when offline.

Get Organized with Stashes

Ideas for your next work project? Quotes that inspire you? Put them in the right place so you never lose them.

Join

2 Million Stashers

4.8

Stars

5,740 Reviews

App Store

4.7

Stars

72,690 Reviews

Google Play

Ashley Anthony

This app is LOADED with RELEVANT, HELPFUL, AND EDUCATIONAL material. It is creatively intellectual, yet minimal enough to not overstimulate and create a learning block. I am exceptionally impressed with this app!

Shankul Varada

Best app ever! You heard it right. This app has helped me get back on my quest to get things done while equipping myself with knowledge everyday.

samz905

Don’t look further if you love learning new things. A refreshing concept that provides quick ideas for busy thought leaders.

Sean Green

Great interesting short snippets of informative articles. Highly recommended to anyone who loves information and lacks patience.

Ghazala Begum

Even five minutes a day will improve your thinking. I've come across new ideas and learnt to improve existing ways to become more motivated, confident and happier.

Giovanna Scalzone

Brilliant. It feels fresh and encouraging. So many interesting pieces of information that are just enough to absorb and apply. So happy I found this.

Laetitia Berton

I have only been using it for a few days now, but I have found answers to questions I had never consciously formulated, or to problems I face everyday at work or at home. I wish I had found this earlier, highly recommended!

Jamyson Haug

Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.

Read & Learn

20x Faster

without
deepstash

with
deepstash

with

deepstash

Access to 200,000+ ideas

Access to the mobile app

Unlimited idea saving & library

Unlimited history

Unlimited listening to ideas

Downloading & offline access

Personalized recommendations

FAQ

Claim Your Limited Offer

Get Deepstash Pro