All of us have many different thoughts each day. We have ideas, images, plans, stories, or beliefs that can run through our minds. Oftentimes, our thoughts are under our control. In other words, we initiate them and even direct them to an extent. However, not all of our thoughts are under control. Some thoughts seem to randomly show up in our consciousness.

For example, if you suddenly remembered that you’re supposed to be attending an appointment, you’ll know that thoughts can show up without your control or intent. These are known as intrusive thoughts. While some intrusive thoughts can be mundane, others can seem disturbing or scary. These are known as unwanted intrusive thoughts. 

We offer mental health support for Selby and the surrounding areas. Why not give us a call? Our phone line is open from 7 pm – 10 pm on weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday.

Call us on (01757) 642 399. If you call before our phone lines are open and we cannot answer, you will be diverted to an NHS Helpline.

Studies have shown that more than 90% of people occasionally experience unwanted intrusive thoughts. These thoughts tend to point to aggression, sexual inappropriateness, or contamination. While thoughts such as these don’t always have a specific origin or cause, they can result from trauma. People who suffer from PTSD, for example, can experience unwanted intrusive thoughts months or years after the traumatic events. 

Here’s how to deal with unwanted intrusive thoughts:

  • Acknowledge and label them – Acknowledge your thoughts before labelling them as “unwanted” or “Intrusive” so you know these thoughts aren’t predictions or dangerous.
  • Write the thoughts down – It can help to write your thoughts down. This helps you to acknowledge them and get them out of your head. 

  • Validate them – Recognise that you’re having unwanted intrusive thoughts. The thoughts don’t mean you’re broken it just means your brain is making you aware of potentially dangerous things. 
  • Validate your emotional response – It’s ok for you to occasionally feel disturbed or frightened by your thoughts, so validate your emotional response to them.
  • Redirect your attention – Once you have validated the thought and your response turn your attention elsewhere. This will encourage you to think about something else, making you feel better. 

 

We offer mental health support for Selby and the surrounding areas. Why not give us a call? Our phone line is open from 7 pm – 10 pm on weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday.

Call us on (01757) 642 399. If you call before our phone lines are open and we cannot answer, you will be diverted to an NHS Helpline.

Interested in helping those who are struggling with their mental health? We offer Mental Health First Aid training in Selby. Contact us at info@communitea.org.uk