Can You Get Rid of Intrusive Thoughts?

HealthyPlace Mental Health Newsletter

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Intrusive thoughts are unpleasant and may seem unavoidable, but we have 4 ways to deal with intrusive thoughts at HealthyPlace. Check this out.

Can You Get Rid of Intrusive Thoughts?

Intrusive thoughts are unpleasant thoughts that invade our mind and interfere in what we’re thinking, feeling, and doing at the moment. They can be upsetting; thoughts of watching someone suffer, for example, can alarm us and cause anxiety. Can you get rid of them? After all, they’re part of being human and nearly everyone experiences them from time to time. Beyond this, intrusive thoughts are the “obsessive” component of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Whether you have minor intrusive thoughts or experience them as OCD, you can stop them from hindering your life. To deal with intrusive thoughts,

  • Recognize the thought. Be aware of it without judging it.
  • Rather than fighting with it (that just makes the thought stronger), distance yourself by merely stating, “I’m having the thought that…”
  • Remind yourself that the thought is nothing more than a thought. It doesn’t represent you, and you don’t have to act on it.
  • Tell yourself the truth: You aren’t purposefully thinking the thought. Therefore, it isn’t who you are.

This process allows you to separate yourself from the intrusive thought rather than ruminating over it. As you continue, the intrusive thoughts diminish because you’re not thinking about them. You can indeed get rid of the power and intensity of your intrusive thoughts.

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Your Thoughts

Today's Question: Do you experience intrusive or bothersome thoughts? How do they affect you and how do you deal with them? We invite you to participate by sharing your thoughts, knowledge, and experiences on theHealthyPlace Facebook page and on the HealthyPlace Google+ page.

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From the HealthyPlace Mental Health Blogs

On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of any blog post. And visit the mental health blogs homepage for the latest posts.


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If you're not already, I hope you'll join us/like us on Facebook too. There are a lot of wonderful, supportive people there.


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APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2017, March 28). Can You Get Rid of Intrusive Thoughts?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 16 from

Last Updated: May 8, 2017

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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