How often do you get obscure or disturbing thoughts come into your mind completely out of the blue? Maybe you see somebody bending over to pick something up and a voice in your head says “KICK EM’ OVER”, or somebody hands you something precious and you get a sudden urge to chuck it across the room.
If these kind of thoughts (or even more bizarre ones) are a regular occurrence for you, I have some good news: this is completely normal.
This phenomena is called “intrusive thoughts” and they do not reflect your true feelings or desires. Having these thoughts does not make you a bad person! This phenomenon is an automatic byproduct of your imagination. The positive aspects of the human imagination are well known – creativity, innovation and much more – but what is not often talked about are the downsides, namely: anxiety, intrusive thoughts and paranoia, to name but a few.
There are well-known techniques that can help with anxiety and the negative thought patterns that can be associated with intrusive thoughts, one of them being mindfulness. This is the practice of making a conscious effort to connect with the present moment. When we actively practice doing this, we naturally let go of the thoughts in our mind and refocus on the Now.
One mindful exercise you can try today is simply focussing your mind on your breath. Any time your mind begins to wander, gently and without judgment, bring your attention back to your breathing. This will bring the mind to a state of ease.
Imagination is one of the greatest gifts we have been given as humans. The wildness of our thoughts accompany us on our journey through life from start to finish. Let it be an uplifting reminder that fear, as well as faith, rely upon us believing in something that we cannot see.
If you are experiencing overwhelming negative thoughts or are struggling with your mental health, please do not hesitate to reach out and talk to someone. Whether it be a loved one or a medical professional, being honest and open is essential for our wellbeing.
You can chat to your doctor about different therapies available, as well as taking advantage of resources that can be found in books and online.
You don’t have to struggle alone. You are unconditionally loved.