Do you deal with intrusive thoughts seemingly appearing out of nowhere and disrupting your peace of mind? These thoughts can be unsettling, ranging from disturbing images to irrational ideas, leaving you questioning their origin and impact on your mental well-being. You may prepare dinner or sit in the office when suddenly your mind conjures a scary image or crazy idea that leaves you wondering about what just happened.
Sometimes you can shrug these thoughts off as misfiring of your brain. But other times, you may feel bombarded by such a barrage of similar ideas that you start to be concerned about whether you are losing your mind.
Here are some facts about intrusive thoughts to help you feel less afraid and more empowered when dealing with them.
Intrusive thoughts are common and do not indicate that there is anything wrong with you. Research suggests that approximately 90% of individuals experience unwanted thoughts regularly.
Intrusive thoughts are also not truthtellers or reflections of your character. They can be random, nonsensical expressions of the mind, similar to involuntary bodily jerks or twitches that occur as a form of tension release.
Some of the more disturbing thoughts, may make you wonder whether you could truly harm somebody or do harm to yourself. Yet, the truth is that without your conscious consent, thoughts don’t have the power to force you to take action.
Intrusive thoughts aren’t literal. Many unwanted thoughts stem from the subconscious mind, which communicates through images and metaphors, for example, in dreams. And just like dreams, intrusive thoughts can serve as a form of mental-emotional release or a way for your subconscious to address issues without conscious input. Understanding this aspect of subconscious communication can help you interpret intrusive thoughts in a broader context.
Not all intrusive thoughts should be dismissed. Some thoughts may carry important messages from your subconscious mind. The challenge lies in distinguishing between mind junk and thoughts that hold valuable information.
Join me for this new episode of Empowerment Solutions and learn how to calmly listen to these unwanted thoughts, evaluate whether they have useful information, and then let them go.
Take your power back and let intrusive thoughts no longer scare you or ruin your day.
Friedemann Schaub, MD, PhD, is the award-winning author of The Fear + Anxiety Solution. Dr. Schaub has helped thousands of people with his Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment program to overcome their fear and anxiety by addressing the deeper, subconscious root causes of these emotional challenges.