How to manage intrusive thoughts?

Amg

New Here
My coping strategies for this one are: mindfulness, progressive muscle relaxation, butterfly taps, and asking myself what is the likelihood of that thought happening. If its real bad I use my stress ball
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
In line with what @MelanieWi1l shared, I've had two days of intrusive thoughts. Not all day but enough to last for a while and I just let them run their course. I don't interact with the thoughts, I don't try to change them, I don't argue or deny. I just let them run their course. And without attention given they eventually just stop.

They are not me or who I was, who I am now. I own my thoughts. They don't own me.
 

rdd

New Here
I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress in the three years since I started my recovery. I am grateful for what’s present. I can receive love more than before. I can say no or yes and mean it. I can be aware of myself for significant amounts of time every day.

Currently the intrusive negative thoughts are draining though. Every day, but especially in the morning and in intervals throughout the day. They don’t have the weight that they used to, but they are so persistent! I must have laid down a thick rope of neurons dedicated to negative thoughts in my past.

I am writing to ask for ideas and strategies which have brought you some relief, even if temporary.

Strategies I use:
+ Ignoring
+ Countering with a positive message
+ Moving my body

Maybe I just need to keep doing those things but I would like to know of anything else that might help.

Something which I think might help, but haven’t tried yet, is setting aside time to give myself positive messages every day, rather than just using the positive messages when I need to battle the negative thoughts. I can feel the resistance in my chest to doing something like that, but it’s an idea.
 

rdd

New Here
Ice-cold/ warm showers.. alternately. Reaching a certain heart rate when fitness training.
I am so sorry that you are having to go through all of this. These are some of the things that I do that work for me. It will take some practice. First of all, your mind is sometimes your worst enemy; therefore, you shouldn't believe everything that it says.
We experience our life in one of two ways - through our mind or through our being. Most everyone lives in their mind. Unfortunately the mind likes to solve all problems and make up problems. This is where we get into trouble. The mind can be your worst enemy. The mind is wonderful at solving external problems. (flat tire, overslept, pay bills, etc.) The mind is not designed to resolve internal problems. (negative thoughts, obsessions, jealously, anger, etc.)

When negative/repetitive/unhealthy thoughts come to your mind just observe them. The secret is not to engage as this will energize them and cause the thoughts to worsen. Being aware of them but not engaging will give you some distance from these thoughts. Re-center yourself by taking 3 deep breaths. Be aware of your surroundings by just observing. Utilize all of your senses. What sounds are you aware of? What do you smell? Can you feel your feet touching the floor? Can you taste anything? What things out of the ordinary do you see? This will slow the thinking down and provide you with some peace. Instead of thinking you are experiencing life!

You may need to do this many times during the day or else you will find yourself engaging with the thoughts. Engaging keeps them alive so don't do that. Thoughts will go away on their own if you let them be. I re-center my self as soon as I wake up in the morning, during showers, meals, driving to work, walking in the front door, before I greet people, before attending an event, just before giving a speech and especially if someone is rude to me. I believe that it can really make a difference for you.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
What @rdd said.

I used to have severely disabling intrusive thinking. They were mostly about death and dying - mine, my cats, my family members. Sometimes I couldn't manage day-to-day stuff because of them.

The only thing that helped me was mindfulness. And by that I mean simply being aware of them. I'd have a thought, "watch" it, then just let it pass. It's hard, not grabbing onto thoughts and making them bigger than what they are. But just watching them, like they are not connected to you but are somewhere out *there* helps you allow them to pass, to let go of them.

Honestly, I don't have them much at all anymore. I went through training to learn how to do this, and I had a supportive therapist help me, which I think is important.
 
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