It’s not always this simple, but *sometimes* it is: shifts in how we respond to intrusive thoughts from PTSD or anxiety can shape our internal response and give strength to our future responses when intrusive thoughts arise. Sometimes just shifting from “OMG NO! The intrusive thought is here! 😱 Run away! 🏃♀️🏃🏻” to “Oh, hello. 👋You are back, huh? Ok, let’s deal with you and put you back where you belong 💭🧺” can bring a lot of relief.
For myself and many of the individuals I have worked with, these are helpful responses to when intrusive thoughts begin to make their way in:
- Notice these thoughts without judgment
- Engage the thoughts in a meaningful way: through writing, moving, visualizing, or crafting language for them as to have a conversation about it
- Then, create a gentle body shift – like getting up to water plants or making a cup of tea
These action steps can help manage intrusive thoughts in a much healthier way than frantically trying not to have the thought at all.
What Are Intrusive Thoughts?
An intrusive thought is an unwelcome, involuntary thought or mental image that is unpleasant, upsetting, distressing, or may feel difficult to not think about or imagine. It is not uncommon to have intrusive thoughts, but when they occur to the point that normal functioning is inhibited, support should be sought out.
This doodle is from the #mentalhealth and anxiety adult activity book I have been plugging away at and hope to make available – to patron access first – this fall. Thank you to Patrons for keeping my vision for this project alive!
Pin it now to find it later!