Not Goin’ There
Intrusive thoughts can be harmless and normal unless they impact our daily functioning. It’s when these thoughts become all encompassing and we are unable to move away from them, that we may need some intervention. Also if/ when we feed into them, depression may appear, which we all know is NOT what we want.
So, NOPE, we’re not goin’ there! Have you ever told yourself this? I hope so. You know, we can manage our thoughts when heading towards a dark hole, when ruminating is getting in the way. Believe me! We have a life to live, don’t we? …..and we want to enjoy it.
One estimate is that more than 6 million people in the US are troubled by these annoying invaders. So we’re not alone. According to the National Science Foundation, an average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 80% are negative and 95% are repetitive thoughts. If we repeat those thoughts, then we are thinking negatively way more than we are thinking positively. Not good. So it’s worth our time to take control.
This note is a brief encouragement about self management of repetitive thoughts/worries or pre-occupations. Here are some suggestions to help our reactions toward the phenomena.
1. Label the thoughts as intrusive
2.Identify what things sent/send you down this path; be on alert to avoid an escalation
3. Practice having more self compassion – don’t be so hard on yourself
4. Practice making contact with your thoughts from a non-judgemental stance, then redirect
yourself toward the current moment, the present
5. This may include distracting yourself with something soothing, something
6. Put the thought in perspective, ask yourself is it even rational?
Overthinking is generally not helpful, so shake it off as best you can dear friends. Let me know how you’re doing.