Intrusive thoughts are what we call the 'mental enemies'. These good-for-nothing thoughts have only one purpose:
To make you feel your crappiest self.
We know saying "don't obsess over intrusive thoughts" is easier said than done. Nobody wants to obsess over negative and self-hating thoughts. But, sometimes, you don't control where your mind takes you. Sometimes, the negative part of your brain is more powerful than your entire being.
No matter who or how perfect you are, intrusive thoughts are an undeniable and inevitable part of you. You can't always stop yourself from having these thoughts. The act of having these intrusive thoughts is problematic. This problem takes a deadly turn when you start believing in them.
The unwanted thoughts can be harmful when they start dictating your life. It doesn't matter how valid these thoughts sound. What matters is that they are not shaping your life better. All they do is kick you down when you are at your worst. Hence, you must work on these thoughts before they take over your life.
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People have started seeking therapy for intrusive thoughts. But therapists charge anywhere from £80 per session. Hence, it is not always the most affordable solution.
Guess what? There is a solution that won't cost this much and still help you get rid of intrusive thoughts.
To make that happen, the easy solution is meditation.
This blog shows:
-What intrusive thoughts are
-How meditation can help you get rid of these thoughts
-Which types of meditation can help you be free of negative thoughts?
What are intrusive thoughts?
There's a saying: we are our worst critics.
It's not wrong.
We can be our most self-destructive critics with intrusive thoughts.
Intrusive thoughts come from a critical and self-deprecating part of us. We all have positive and negative sides. Most days, our negative side is more challenging to control. For many, it becomes impossible to get rid of these intrusive thoughts.
Intrusive thoughts are opinions and ideas that pop into your head on their own. These, generally, focus on your flaws and failures. In some cases, certain disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder trigger intrusive thoughts. The mind repeats these thoughts, which makes it challenging to get over them. No matter how many assurances a person gives, intrusive thoughts keep returning. This is what makes intrusive thoughts toxic.
Intrusive thoughts are a cycle of negative thoughts that trigger:
-Anger, and many such negative emotions.
Mental health disorders like PSYD, PTSD, sexual traumas, and more trigger intrusive thoughts. Every negative emotion amplifies because of intrusive thoughts. Such thoughts keep past events repeating in mind.
Intrusive thoughts are full of insecurities, self-doubts, and self-destructive feelings. The person starts believing in intrusive thoughts, which cause depression, anxiety, and stress.
This is why it's crucial to understand how you can manage these thoughts. Intrusive thoughts are dangerous. You can practice meditation if you want to stop the cycle and develop a better mindset. This blog is the perfect guide for meditation and how it can impact intrusive thoughts. You can get over these thoughts that run in your mind over and over.
Here's a fun video that explains how intrusive thoughts can eat you up.
We have explained 6 steps of meditation that can help you fight intrusive thoughts.
6 Ways Meditation Gets Rid of Intrusive Thoughts
The brain is a complex organ. But, much feels sorted if you understand how to deal with the complexities in the right way. Behavioural therapy pitches meditation as an excellent way to deal with intrusive thoughts.
Let's understand the valuable treatment of meditation to get rid of intrusive thoughts.
#1. Meditation for introspection
The most god-awful part of intrusive thoughts is that they keep coming back. Guess what makes it worse?
Refusing to deal with intrusive thoughts is what makes it the worst.
There can be many reasons why these intrusive thoughts keep bothering you. Conventional society wants you to believe that intrusive thoughts are nothing but silly. Some would even go to the extent of providing absurd solutions like:
"You should go out with your friends more."
"You should go clubbing."
"You should laugh more."
"You should get married."
What such people don't get is that:
Sometimes, intrusive thoughts can have some deeper and darker roots.
It can be a traumatising childhood experience or a difficult time. Intrusive thoughts result from the harsh past that makes you question your worth.
If you want to get rid of your intrusive thoughts, the first step is to face the root cause behind thoughts. This sounds easier said than done. But, meditation for intrusive thoughts gives the time to cope with negative energies. It allows correct introspection to help understand where your problems are arising from. Are these intrusive thoughts because of trauma? Or are they in your mind because of years of conditioning? It could also be a result of bad parenting or bullying.
Meditating helps you tackle problems, whether scary, uncomfortable, or painful. Knowing the root of intrusive thoughts through meditation is the first step.
#2. Meditation for rational thoughts
Irrational opinions lead to intrusive thoughts. Fear, insecurity, anger, and other negative thoughts can lead to irrational opinions. Irrational, intrusive thoughts hamper your cognitive abilities. They pull you further into depression, anxiety, and stress. Hence, learn to differentiate between rational and irrational thoughts.
Common irrational thoughts examples:
Obsessive-compulsive thoughts: Intrusive thoughts that return no matter how hard you push me.
"I am odd or crazy."
"If I don't do this, something bad will happen to me."
Rumination: Obsessing over only the negative thoughts and aspects of life
"Why does this keep happening to me?"
"What did I do to deserve this?"
Compulsive doubts: Doubting one's worth, actions, thoughts, or talents
"I am not good enough to deserve this."
"I don't deserve to be happy."
Paranoia: Always worried about other people's judgements and opinions
"They must be laughing at me."
"They won't like me if I do what I want."
The image from True Anxiety Clinic explains how intrusive thoughts affect you repetitively.
Irrational intrusive thoughts are a result of negative experiences and emotions. Your rational thoughts are factual statements. Rational thoughts, even when negative, appear in the form of constructive criticism. Meditation can divert your attention from irrational thoughts. They help focus more on rational criticism.
First, practice meditation for healing your mind. Yes. Labelling irrational thoughts as invalid thoughts is a powerful strategy. When an intrusive thought says that you aren't worth being happy, it is an irrational thought. Believing these intrusive thoughts are invalid stops giving them any leverage on you.
#3. Meditation for a changed mindset
Mindfulness meditation can control your intrusive thoughts. It can channel them in the right direction. Your mind is most disturbed when it feels tangled by its own thoughts. Without sorting these thoughts, you will fall into a pit of negative emotions.
Practice meditation to tell yourself that your negative thoughts don't define you. Focus on the flow of your positive thoughts. Picture a river of uplifting thoughts and emotions flowing in your mind. The emphasis on positivity will push the intrusive thoughts aside. It will bring forward a brighter vision. This helps in getting over intrusive thoughts that trigger tragic and traumatic experiences. Never underestimate your ability to handle your trauma through meditation. It gives you the power to change your negative mindset to a positive one.
#4. Meditation for healthy habits
When you don't tackle intrusive thoughts on time, the end result is:
Stress, anxiety, OCD and potential self-destruction.
Many disorders like trauma, OCD, anxiety, and more create intrusive thoughts.
But did you know that intrusive thoughts can also result from unhealthy habits?
Some bad habits encourage intrusive thoughts. For instance:
-Staying awake till late
-not intaking the freshness of nature
Meditation is a great way to break these bad habits. Waking up early and meditating can add freshness and energy to your day. An energetic and positive mind focuses less on intrusive thoughts.
At the same time, meditation for sleep is a great way to end the night. A well-rested mind is a home for positive thoughts. More exhaustion can lead to more intrusive thoughts.
Another valuable habit you can build is outdoor meditation. Outdoor meditation is also a great way to enjoy nature and get acquainted with the inner you.
Practising meditation 30 minutes a day changes habits that can harm your well-being. The breathing techniques allow you to be more aware of the present and less lost in the past. This is most useful when you find it impossible to control these intrusive thoughts.
#5. Meditation for anxiety
In a world that is developing faster than ever, it's prevalent to be anxious. Anxiety has taken the first row in people's lives. Social media, too much convenience, and unhealthy competition can hamper life. Instead, it has only added more complications with anxiety and stress.
Intrusive thoughts are a result of unwanted competition. Toxic workplaces or families that compare performances can create intrusive thoughts. Hence, you feel more anxious about yourself, your talents, and your performance.
Practising meditation will help you clear your mind. When you meditate, think of:
Why are you anxious?
Is your anxiety related to a particular fear of failure?
What is the root cause of self-doubt and anxiety?
Now, practice meditation visualisation. This means visualising something while meditating. For instance, when you find the answers, visualise a box. Picture yourself packing all your intrusive thoughts and questions in the box. Now, imagine that you are throwing this box in the water, flowing away from you. This is a very grounding way of getting rid of intrusive thoughts that lead to anxiety.
#6. Meditation to let go
Meditation teaches you to let go.
Whether it's emotions or thoughts, everything is temporary. Meditation is a peaceful state of mind. You learn to accept that the unbearable intrusive thoughts will pass. Try meditation with music you love to learn to let go of the past. You learn to let go of the grudges you have held and the mistakes you regret.
Above all, meditation teaches you the power of self. You realise that it's you who gives validity to these thoughts in the end. So, you can also take away that validity and move on.
Obsessing over intrusive thoughts can only lead to more grief, despair, and regret. What you can do is practice how to let those go through meditation.
The question is, how?
We have 3 meditation mantras recommended by our meditation gurus. These mantras can enlighten your mind and improve your mental health.
3 Meditation Mantras for Better Mental Health
You know now how meditation can help you get rid of intrusive thoughts.
And, here's the bonus.
We have 3 mantras with meditation benefits to get rid of intrusive thoughts.
Let's begin learning!
#1. Om Shanti Mantra Meditation
The Om Shanti Mantra brings you peace in an instant. This particular mantra is the invocation of Lord Shiva in your heart. It fills your mind with a sense of relief, calmness, and positive vibes. Your heart and mind will feel relaxed.
Chant the Om Shanti Mantra to relax and calm your nerves whenever you feel anxious.
Through this mantra, you will chant and listen to the prayer. This will give you peace and positivity to face your intrusive thoughts. Your tangled thoughts will feel more sorted.
Other benefits of the Om Shanti Mantra are:
-It is a great way to soothe your calming nerves when you feel anxious.
-It detaches your mind from intrusive thoughts. Also, it redirects towards a more calming stream of thoughts.
-It allows you to focus on your breathing and the surrounding environment. It helps you create more awareness and acceptance in your heart.
#2. Asatoma Sadgamaya Mantra Meditation
According to Hindu mythology, the asatoma sadgamaya mantra is from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. This is one of the core mantras in Hindu scriptures. Written in Sanskrit and chanted likewise, it has a calming effect. The prayer is a devoted chant to seek the blessings of a Guru. In a larger sense, the Guru, here, is the God or the Creator.
Asatoma Sadgamaya gets rid of intrusive thoughts and calms your mind. Chanting the mantra also helps create a positive mood throughout the day. It has a positive charm to stop intrusive thoughts and boosts the person's mood.
Other benefits of the Asatoma Sadgamaya mantra meditation are:
-It renovates how your mind perceives negative thoughts. In this way, it destroys intrusive opinions or emotions.
-It gives you a sense of calm and reassurance even during chaotic situations.
-It boosts your consciousness to gain more awareness. Doing so opens up your mind for a better perspective of the world.
#3. Wah Yantee Mantra Meditation
Wah Yantee is another meditation mantra that soothes your mind. It disconnects you from intrusive thoughts to allow a powerful flow of creativity.
The mantra is also for innovative people to allow a free flow of their creative selves.
Through this mantra, you walk on a clear path towards how your mind works. You gain wisdom and creativity and awaken spiritual awareness.
Other benefits of the Wah Yantee Mantra meditation are:
-It brings a sense of calmness and serenity to your mind.
-It pulls down creative blocks caused by intrusive thoughts.
-It helps the mind shut off intrusive thoughts. Thus, it opens up new perspectives and possibilities.
Is there science behind meditation?
Yes, proven scientific evidence stands behind meditation.
The brain has neurons which send brain waves. The brain waves change as per our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Even our actions affect the brain waves. Scientists have studied these brain waves using an electroencephalogram.
Delta waves are a category of brain waves. These waves range anywhere from 1 to 3 Hz. They are low and slow in frequency. Scientists associate these waves with dreamless and deep slumber. One can witness the same while meditating.
Another category of waves called the Theta Waves ranges from 4 to 8 Hz. These waves are generally active in the most imaginative stage of human life, from 2 to 5 years old. In adults, these waves are present while meditating or relaxing.
Alpha Waves are another set of waves ranging from 9 to 13 Hz. These waves awaken when the person meditates or feels relaxed, even in a wakeful state.
The point is that: brain waves increase when a person meditates.
How do alpha and theta waves help?
Enhanced levels of alpha waves show two things:
-High alertness in a relaxed state
-Improved mental awareness.
Apart from the acitive increase in alpha and theta waves, scientific MRwestudies have shown that meditation impacts the brain in various areas. For instance, the reactivity seen on the MRwewhile meditating showed:
-It increases attention
-It improves executive function.
-It enhances memory
-Better emotional regulation
-Reduces amygdala, a.k.a the feelings of fear
Many studies implied that meditation could alter the structure of the brain. Additionally, meditation can enhance the blood flow in the regional cerebral area. This particular area is for executive function.
Other than that, meditation improves memory retention and enhances emotional stability.
So, what now?
This is everything to know about how meditation gets rid of those intrusive thoughts. Having intrusive thoughts is normal. After everything you deal with in life, it's obvious that you will have negative thoughts. So, meditation is an excellent solution for you if you have intrusive thoughts.
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