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How to Stop Those Intrusive Thoughts and Restore Your Inner Peace

How to Stop Intrusive Thoughts
Are you a victim of bizarre thoughts running constantly in your head? Do these thoughts eat away your peace of mind? If yes, then it's time you took control of everything that bothers you, and stop the ever intrusive thoughts.
Cheryl Mascarenhas
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Let's begin with a string of essential questions. Be honest in your reply, and remember: no one will judge you, but yourself.
⇨ Are you obsessed with keeping everything spic-and-span every single time?

⇨ Do you constantly fuss about the way things appear around you?

⇨ Do you constantly arrange and rearrange things for no apparent reason?

⇨ Are you constantly plagued with thoughts of seemingly irrational fears?
⇨ Do you have negative thoughts about yourself and others all the time?

⇨ Do you constantly have thoughts of harming someone or yourself?

⇨ Are you constantly under stress and suffer from panic attacks because of these thoughts?

⇨ Are your thoughts concerned more with "what if" kind of questions?
If you have answered in an affirmative to any of these questions, you may be plagued with Intrusive Thinking and distinctly bordering on OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). Constant fear of harming someone close can definitely cause even a sane person to behave insane. Though you might not really harm someone close to you, your thoughts could play havoc with your own body. Think of the amount of harm you are causing yourself by simply fussing over your thoughts. These thoughts, caused due to a plethora of reasons like fretting about health concerns or even past experiences, can be a source of great distress and angst.
How to Get Rid of Intrusive Thoughts
How to stop fretting about petite things and live a normal life, is a question worth answering. One of the foremost things you need to do, if you wish to rid yourself of these thoughts, is to bring about a shift in attitude and approach in the way you visualize things around you. Besides, you need to get professional help before it gets too late and you end up harming yourself and those around you.
Pen Down your Thoughts
Woman writing her thoughts
Why do you have to think of the thought? Well, when you want to stop thinking about a thought, you would have to ask yourself few questions; and the reason we insist on doing that is to find answers. Consider it as a task for yourself. Pen down the reason for dwelling on the thought; and the cause behind the obsession.
Note down how it affects your overall health and development. Make a note if it gives you pleasure or causes you to tremble with the mere mention of it. Once you complete this, following the instructions given below will benefit you.
Accept your Thoughts
Man thinking about thought
When we talk of a shift in approach, the first thing recommended is that, you change the way you perceive your thoughts. It won't be an easy task to incorporate, but, it definitely is worth a try. Acceptance comes from understanding yourself. To put it in better words, I would like to quote Nido Qubein who says, "Total unconditional acceptance of yourself is the first step in building a positive self-image".
Begin with accepting the disturbing thoughts, rather than constantly trying to suppress them. Accepting the fear, handicaps it from becoming an unmanageable monster lurking in the dark corners of our conscience.
Change the Way you React
Thinking about positive thought
In real life, the way you react to a particular situation determines the final outcome. The same policy should be applied to your thoughts. Irrational fears can be controlled only if you change your reaction towards it. Concentrating on the positive aspects rather than the negative aspects is a good way to initiate the change.
When you concentrate on something that is good, or better still, on nothing at all, you will come to realize that everything that you've worried about is baseless and just a void. By feeding your thought with a reaction, you were actually making it come alive as an idea.

Remember: action + reaction = conditioning
Purge the Thoughts
Woman thinking about negative thought
What most people do is, continue thinking about the problem when all you can do is 'nip it off in the bud'. The root of negative thinking stems from being too serious about things. Do not rule out the chilled-out factor here; research shows that individuals who laugh off misfortunes and negative ideas are people who are relatively more relaxed and peaceful and live a considerably stress-free life.
All you've got to do is, think of the intrusive and negative thoughts; not as a stumbling block as it naturally happens, but rather to resurrect yourself.
Become Aware
Man and woman concentrating on breath
Whenever you are tormented with negative thoughts, try concentrating on your breathing. Listen to your own heart beats for a change, by placing a hand on your chest and varying with shallow to deep breathing exercises. Become aware of your presence, shut out the world and most importantly, the voices dancing in your head.
Concentrating on self-breathing is known to have a therapeutic effect on the mind. You can even repeat a phrase like 'all is well' or 'I'm at peace' till you actually find a difference in your thoughts.
Seek Professional Help
Couple talking with therapist
If you still find yourself being bogged down with incessant thoughts, it's time you rushed to get some qualified help in your situation. Approach a good counselor or therapist who will aid you in your distress. If you do not wish to seek professional help, you can discuss your problem with a trusted friend who would be able to guide you on the road to recovery. Keep this in mind though; do not down antidepressants or antipsychotic medications without consulting your therapist.
Keep stress at bay by changing the way you perceive and approach your thoughts. Remember that your thoughts will remain; just that if you do not give it a serious thought, it is best to confront your fears in the right approach, and not merely suppressing them. And finally what more can I say, than agree with Harry Emerson Fosdick and his saying, "Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable". Have faith in yourself and the positivity around you; and the negativity will surely diminish, if not vanish.