How to Deal with Intrusive Thoughts

man getting intrusive thoughts and holding his head

This is an incredibly strange question to ask. But have you ever been doing something perfectly normal when, all of a sudden, you get the thought to do something gut-wrenchingly violent? Sometimes, it could be as bad as intentionally running over a dog on the road or hurting a baby. These thoughts are known as intrusive thoughts.

The good news is that you’re not the only one who has had Intrusive thoughts before. In fact, they happen to everyone. The better news is that these thoughts don’t mean that you’re a bad person deep down. Regardless, however, intrusive thoughts can still be quite distressing. So, here’s how to deal with them:

1. Identify them as what they are – intrusive

For you to move on from this moment, you have to agree that these thoughts are nothing but intrusive thoughts. They randomly pop into your mind like uninvited guests, and they take charge of the place. So, do not internalize them as a part of your personality. Do not accept that they’re a reflection of your deepest desires or anything of that sort. Doing so might give you the impression that you’re a monster. You’re not. You just have intrusive thoughts.

2. Don’t try to push them away

Trying to push them away is like trying to cool down hot oil by adding as much cold water as possible. It just wouldn’t work if we’re being honest. So, don’t pay too much attention to these thoughts, and you certainly shouldn’t run over that poor little dog. Just leave the thoughts be. This, however, doesn’t mean that you should focus on them and try to flesh them out into full trains of thought. As intrusive thoughts, they will often leave as fast as they come in.

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3. Wait for them to pass but expect them to come again

The truth is that the thoughts will leave on their own. However, eventually, they’ll find their way back into your head and start making you think the strangest of things. Don’t be surprised, and don’t act on them.

4. Continue what you were doing before.

We’ve already established that there’s hardly anything you can do to stop intrusive thoughts. So, continue doing what you were doing before. If their presence gives you anxiety, you can practice breathing techniques or something else that helps calm you down. Intrusive thoughts aren’t who you are. They just come in every now and then.


Intrusive thoughts can be very disturbing, especially if they come to you very often. However, you must remember that these nasty thoughts do not necessarily define you as a person. So, if you do get them, simply follow our tips to deal with them effectively.

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