☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 
☻  WELCOME TO THE LOCAL OPTIMIST GROUP   ☻   SHOP MADHAPPY  
 

How to Combat Intrusive Thoughts    

How to Combat Intrusive Thoughts

Art by FISK

By Kathryn Lee, Ed.M, M.A, MHC-LP

The way we think impacts every aspect of our lives, from our daily mood to the choices that we make throughout each day. Many of our thought processes become so ingrained in our day-to-day lives that we don’t even realize they’re happening. Others feel all-consuming and impossible to shake. The good news is we can learn to better navigate and understand these intrusive thoughts, as Kathryn Lee, a MyWellbeing psychotherapist, MHC-LP, outlines below.

What are intrusive thoughts?

Intrusive thoughts are unwanted thoughts that occur without warning; these thoughts can be repetitive, persistent, and may cause distress and/or anxiety. While intrusive thoughts are uncomfortable and unwanted, experiencing periodic intrusive thoughts is not necessarily a cause for concern; most individuals will experience some form of intrusive thoughts in their life. Intrusive thoughts become a concern when you get “stuck” on a thought, and find yourself obsessing over it and/or altering your behavior in response to the thought in a way that begins to impact your daily functioning. 

In addition, intrusive thoughts can be a response to a separate mental health condition such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). For individuals with OCD, thoughts may be even more persistent and graphic and can also lead to the development of obsessive and compulsive habits. Intrusive thoughts can also be the result of trauma, in which the thoughts are directly related to a traumatic event, sometimes forcing the individual to relive the traumatic experience not only through their thoughts but also via physical somatic sensations. Although all of us experience different types of intrusive thoughts with varying intensity levels and responses, all forms are uncomfortable and unwanted. 

Some common intrusive thoughts include: 

●      Negative self-talk that makes you feel less than, says that you are not good enough, says you are unlovable, etc. 

●      The voice of your inner critic 

●      Thoughts of harming or killing yourself or another individual 

●      Thoughts of a loved one dying 

●      Sexual thoughts, including thinking of sexual behaviors that an individual may find to be disturbing, thoughts inconsistent with an individual’s identified sexual orientation, and thoughts of sexually violent acts

Coping with intrusive thoughts? Here’s what you can do to get through it:

1. Don’t suppress the intrusive thought. 

Your thoughts are just that – thoughts. They do not define you or  make you a “bad person.” When experiencing intrusive thoughts, acknowledge your thoughts, label them as “intrusive thoughts,” and allow the thoughts to pass. Say to yourself: “I am having this thought. Thoughts are not facts.” Note that the more you try to push the thought away, the more you will become aware of the thought. 

2. Don’t compare your experience with that of others. 

Some individuals may compare their thoughts and experiences to others and belittle their own experience in the process because they feel that others have it worse. If your intrusive thoughts are causing distress and/or anxiety, they are worth discussing and that’s all that matters.

3. Identify the emotional response and/or physical sensations that occur when experiencing intrusive thoughts.

What feelings come up for you when these thoughts come in? Do you feel anxious, scared, guilty, ashamed? Do you feel “crazy”? In addition, are there any physical sensations that you are experiencing, such as heart palpitations, nausea, “a lump in your throat”?

Identify what you experience in response to these intrusive thoughts and explore your reaction. Understanding why you respond the way you do will help you gain insight into the core beliefs and values driving the reaction. The more self-awareness you gain, the more you will begin to understand why your thoughts may be so distressing. 

4. Don’t change your behavior! 

As a response to one’s intrusive thoughts, some people begin to participate in certain behaviors in an effort to distract themselves from the thought or to create a false sense of alleviation. However, these behaviors often become compulsive and can negatively impact an individual’s daily functioning. Respond instead by acknowledging that you are experiencing the intrusive thought (as outlined in #1). 

5. Fact check your thoughts. 

Create a data set of your thoughts to identify patterns and better understand yourself. Begin logging when you experience your intrusive thoughts and what these intrusive thoughts are. Start to track whether any of them come to fruition and you’ll be surprised to find that they rarely if ever do. The results will show that intrusive thoughts are JUST thoughts and lessen their impact over time.

6. Talk to a mental health clinician. 

Talk to your therapist about your intrusive thoughts! Externalizing our thoughts and feelings allows us to process our experiences in a different way and often provides us with insight and greater clarity. If talking about your intrusive thoughts feels intimidating, let your therapist know; this is reflective of your experience with your intrusive thoughts, and your therapist can support you in learning how to process and sit with all of the thoughts and feelings you have related to your intrusive thoughts.  

As we said before, the key is remembering that thoughts are thoughts; they do not define you and are not indicative of who you inherently are. They happen to you, but they don’t make you! 

Keep the conversation going by commenting on this story below. You can also connect with us about whatever’s on your mind by texting The Local Optimist Hotline at 310.299.9414.