TOP 10 techniques for getting rid of obsessive thoughts in your head for independent use

  • Causes of obsessive thoughts
  • How to get rid of obsessive thoughts in your head
  • VSD and obsessive thoughts
  • Depression with obsessive thoughts
  • Obsessive thoughts in neurosis
  • Obsessive thoughts are uncontrollable urges that arise on a subconscious level. They lead to fears and anxieties, inadequate negative fantasies, and deterioration of mental health. Without proper treatment, obsessions become the cause of depressive moods, neuroses, schizophrenia, mental exhaustion, and a hermit lifestyle. The main characteristics of the disease are as follows:

    • the individual does not influence the appearance of anxious and bad thoughts, they appear against his will;
    • ideas that forcibly invade the mind do not arise as a result of habitual conclusions, but are isolated, alien images;
    • the disease cannot be eliminated from your life with just one effort of will;
    • Symptoms include severe anxiety, increased irritability;
    • the patient does not lose clarity of mind and recognizes his illness.

    It is precisely because of the awareness of the deplorability of his situation that the patient feels bad. He admits his deviations, but cannot fight them. All attempts to eliminate obsessive thoughts from consciousness cause even greater anxiety and fear. It is easy to convince the patient that all his incomprehensible fantasies have no proper basis. The person admits this, but the disease continues to progress. More and more new obsessions appear. Here are the most striking examples of “sticky” thoughts:

    • fears about the spread and infection of diseases;
    • adherence to principles in ensuring order and symmetry;
    • uncontrolled obsessive counting;
    • fear of force majeure, the end of the world;
    • groundless and unreasoned exclusion of specific actions;
    • thoughts about faith, sex, excessive aggressiveness that arise without the desire of the patient.

    Obsessions lead to negative behavior and a state of increased tension. The patient himself cannot cope with his experiences, although he admits that he has a problem and that they are unfounded. It is possible to improve your condition and get rid of false ideas of reality only by receiving competent medical care.

    How to get rid of obsessive thoughts and fears?

    What is an obsessive thought?
    These are unwanted thoughts or images that upset and/or worry you. Also known as obsessions.

    You may believe that they mean something bad about you as a person.

    This article will help show you what form they take and that they are just thoughts and do not reflect you as a person.

    The page is very detailed and takes about 25 minutes to read, so I've included a table of contents below to help you get your bearings. I am grateful that you came to my site to read about the problem, so I offer you the most complete information on the topic.

    The purpose of this article is to help you understand what you are currently thinking and feeling so that you can understand what is happening to you.

    If you need help from a psychologist, please read my profile and the consultations provided and, if necessary, sign up for a consultation through the registration form or in the contacts section.

    Contact and make an appointment Read about counseling and qualifications

    • How to get rid of obsessive thoughts yourself
    • Obsessive thoughts - signs and treatment
    • Types of obsessive thoughts - how to remove intrusive thoughts
    • Intrusive sexual thoughts
    • Obsessive thoughts syndrome - are obsessive thoughts normal?
    • OCD - obsessive-compulsive disorder
    • How to deal with OCD
    • How to get rid of an obsession
    • Thoughts of harming yourself

    Unwanted intrusive thoughts are thoughts stuck in the head that cause great suffering and do not give peace.

    They seem to come out of nowhere, come whistling, and cause a lot of anxiety. The content of unwanted intrusive thoughts often focuses on sexual or violent, or socially unacceptable images, or everyday things.

    People who experience unwanted intrusive thoughts fear that they might do the things they imagine. They are also afraid that guessing means something terrible about themselves. Some unwanted intrusive judgments consist of repeated doubts about relationships, business decisions, sexual orientation, thoughts about safety, religion, death, or worries about questions that cannot be answered at all. Some people just have strange thoughts that don't make any sense. Unwanted intrusive judgments can be very obvious, and many people feel ashamed and worried about them and therefore keep them secret.

    There are many myths about unwanted intrusive thoughts. One of the saddest things is that the presence of such processes in a person's head means that you unconsciously want to do what comes into your head. This is simply not true and in fact the opposite is true.

    The effort that people use to fight negative thoughts is actually what fuels their return. People struggle because the very essence of what comes to their mind seems alien, unacceptable and at odds with the usual image. Thus, people with violent unwanted intrusive thoughts are susceptible and vulnerable people.

    People who have unwanted intrusive suicidal thoughts love life. And those who think about yelling and blasphemy in the church value their religious life.

    The second myth is that every thought we have is worth examining. In truth, these views are not messages, red flags, signals or warnings.

    The problem for people who have these thoughts (one estimate that more than 6 million people in Russia are worried about them is worth thinking about!) is that unwanted intrusive thoughts seem so threatening.

    This is because the agitated mind takes over, and the thought - as disgusting as possible - seems to have a power that it does not have.

    People are desperate and urgent to get rid of thoughts, which, paradoxically, fuels their intensity. The more they try to suppress, distract, or replace hunches, the stickier the thought becomes.

    People who are troubled by intrusive thoughts must learn a new attitude toward their thoughts—that sometimes the content of the thoughts is irrelevant and unimportant. That everyone sometimes has strange, socially obscene and cruel thoughts. Our brain sometimes creates unhelpful thoughts, and they are just part of our stream of consciousness. If you don't pay attention to them or connect with them, they dissipate and are washed away by the stream of consciousness. Junk thoughts are meaningless.

    In fact, a thought, even a very scary one, is not an impulse. The problem is not impulse, but control. They are at opposite ends. However, those suffering are in desperate need of reassurance. Belief only works temporarily, and people can become addicted to fearful thoughts. The only way to effectively deal with intrusive thoughts is to desensitize yourself to them. After all, this event, which is so alarming, either will not happen with great probability or is not true.

    Unwanted intrusive thoughts increase in intensity and people suffer by becoming entangled with them, worrying about them, fighting them, trying to remove them. Thoughts also become stronger if you try to avoid them. Leave them alone, treat them like they're not even interesting, and eventually they'll fade into the background.

    Here are steps to change your attitude and overcome unwanted intrusive thoughts:

    • Label these thoughts in your head as “intrusive thoughts.”
    • Remind yourself that they are automatic and not for you.
    • Accept and let them into your mind. Don't try to push them away
    • Give yourself time
    • Don't worry about thoughts coming back again
    • Continue whatever you were doing prior to the intrusive thought, allowing the worry to be present.
    • Anxiety can be relieved with relaxation practices, hypnosis or medication

    DO NOT try:

    • Engage in thoughts
    • Push them out of your head
    • Try to understand what your thoughts “mean.”
    • See if something works to get rid of bad judgments

    This approach can be difficult to implement. But for those who continue to use it for just a few weeks, there is an excellent opportunity to see a reduction in the frequency and intensity of unwanted intrusive thoughts.

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    Depression comes from our negative emotions

    Negative emotions are feelings such as envy, resentment or guilt. To one degree or another, they are present in the life of every person, but not everyone experiences depression. If they do appear, then it is necessary to figure out exactly why this happened. Next, you should fight exclusively with this factor, cutting off unnecessary layers of information. Of course, this cannot be done without the help of a qualified psychologist. However, in the early stages it is quite possible to cope with this on your own.

    Treatment of obsessive thoughts

    If you've read about me, you'll know that I'm a psychologist and hypnologist who specializes in a variety of issues, including anxiety disorders. I work a lot with people who have anxious thoughts and recommend a treatment program.

    Before you “accept the contents of your head,” I will explain why this is useful.

    Why is it important to accept what is in your mind?

    It is recommended to accept unwanted concepts in your head as “just a thought” and nothing more. You react to them as if they were real, or worry that you might act on them and cause some kind of moral harm to yourself or someone else. You've probably developed several ways to cope with your thoughts, which may include avoiding trigger things or avoidance.

    The ability to accept your thoughts helps stop them from merging.

    Change the preconception that if you think about something, it is more likely to happen. In fact, events in most cases do not depend on whether you think about them or not.

    With practice, once you learn to accept this, idle thoughts will no longer mean anything to you. The reason they keep popping up in your mind is because you're shining a light on them, trying to figure out what they mean, trying to avoid them, and trying various tactics to make sure you don't hurt anyone. Your brain just decided, “This is something we need to pay serious attention to.”

    Take less thoughts

    You need to understand that they mean nothing about you as a person.

    Remove fear from your thoughts

    By having an emotional reaction to the content of your thoughts, you are keeping the unwanted thought alive and well in your mind. When you can allow the stream of consciousness to enter your mind and your feelings are not affected, thoughts begin to lose their power.

    Stop changing your behavior

    You may have changed the way you exist in the world to, for example, avoid causing yourself any harm (in relation to your thoughts).

    If you have obsessive thoughts regarding knives, you may have moved the knives around in your kitchen.

    If you have obsessive thoughts about children, you may want to avoid baby showers, or be very careful about how you look at your child. Or you feel uncomfortable bathing and dressing your children.

    If you have unwanted judgments about your sexuality, you may avoid people, places, or things that evoke those unwanted images.

    You need to learn to stop doing this because even if the strategies you have developed help you in the short term, they will not be useful in the long term as they only serve to keep the cycle going all over again.

    Causes of OCD

    Since the impetus for the development of the disease is often a situation in the past that caused deep experiences, as well as psychosomatic disorders that arose as a result of it, it is important to identify, remember the reason that led to changes in behavior and work through it. It often goes back to childhood. Mental overload can occur at a time when the body is weakened by illness or hormonal changes during adolescence.

    A person’s life begins to depend on the disease, because obsession, obsessive thoughts, are followed by compulsion, obsessive actions, causing the need to perform endless rituals. This requires a lot of effort, energy expenditure, a lot of time, and most importantly, it deprives the individual of freedom of choice and action and continues to destroy the nervous system.

    Obsessive thoughts and phobias caused by them lead to unpleasant physical sensations. The pulse quickens, tachycardia begins, panic, nausea, even vomiting, suffocation, fear of death. A person does not do many things that are interesting to him and could change his life and destiny for the better. Rituals are performed to prevent troubles, for fear of bringing unpleasant events into life, for fear that bad thoughts that suddenly come to mind may materialize.

    Cognitive behavioral therapy

    In addition to mindfulness-based approaches, combining them with relaxation training will help you achieve good results.

    The intrusive statements can be sexual, aggressive, religious, or something that bothers you. They may be a symptom of anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

    Most of the thoughts that run through your head every day are out of your control, they just happen, but they don't mean anything and you don't pay much attention. With intrusive thoughts, they seem to take over your life.

    I am well aware of the impact this can have on your life. I want to talk about intrusive thoughts in terms of how they can happen, how they affect you, and what you can do to stop them.

    Depression works on 3 levels: body, mind, spirit

    To effectively get rid of depression, you need to work on each of the three levels. This is explained by the fact that they are interconnected, strengthening or weakening each other. You need to start by choosing a specific goal in life that will push you to move. The more significant this activity is, for example, charity or community service, the faster the replenishment of energy reserves will be.

    It is best to find an activity that will help connect all three levels: body, mind and spirit. An excellent practice in this regard is yoga, which activates all the senses and awakens vitality. It is very important not to forget about the frequency of classes. So, the more time you spend on yoga, the faster you will get out of depression. The body needs to be launched so that it enters a certain rhythm and does not leave it. It is recommended to do what you love at least 2-3 times a week.


    Types of intrusive thoughts

    I'm going to list common intrusive thoughts that I've dealt with over the years. This may not be a complete list, and I simply forgot some, but this description will give you an idea of ​​what common unwanted thoughts are.

    Before you continue reading, you should note that you may experience an “anxiety spike” when you read different types of thoughts. You may want to walk away from the page and stop reading to avoid the unpleasant emotions you are experiencing.

    This is fine. This does not mean that you are doing something wrong, it simply means that anxiety is activated when the thought process is triggered. If you typically deal with your unwanted thoughts by avoiding anything that you think might trigger them, you're likely to experience a spike in anxiety.

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    These may include forced sexual acts, sex with inappropriate people or things, questioning your own sexual identity, or any thought about a sexual nature that makes you uncomfortable.

    With this type of thought, agitation usually occurs. Even if you haven't performed this act, the thought of it can make you feel excited.

    This is a normal physiological response of the body.

    However, most people with these types of thoughts mistakenly believe that if they experience arousal, then this must mean that there is something true and terrible in the contents of the stream of consciousness. These are just thoughts, nothing more.

    Intrusive thoughts about children

    These types of intrusive thoughts are extremely worrying as you may have unwanted thoughts that could harm your baby in some way.


    May involve harm to self and/or others. Again, these thoughts are scary because they can include the fear that you might hurt someone, even though you've probably never hurt anyone in your life.

    This may include the urge (compulsion) to be aggressive towards someone verbally or to cause physical harm.


    These include inappropriate thoughts about religious people or figures. Cursing during prayer or worship. Severe compulsions to act inappropriately while on duty.

    Most people I work with have a hard time seeing these as harmless thoughts. Most likely, they will see them as some kind of sign that something is wrong with them. Or even start believing the thoughts: “Why do I need this if I didn’t do......?” It's just a flow of consciousness, nothing more.

    Intrusive thoughts about your sexual orientation

    Many people have unwanted intrusive thoughts that cause them to question their sexual orientation. It's not the same thing as realizing they're attracted to the same gender. If you have these thoughts about your sexual orientation, you are still heterosexual, but because of the thoughts you may begin to suffer from doubts.

    This problem is known as homosexual OCD.

    About family members

    These may include thoughts related to:

    • Kisses your family members or work colleagues (both sexes)
    • Unwanted sexual thoughts about family members
    • Intrusive images of family members, for example, naked
    • The patient may be troubled by thoughts such as, “What if I am attracted to my sister, my brother?” etc.

    About death

    This may include constant worry about death, that your heart could fail at any moment. Also include sad images of death that belong to you or someone you care about.

    Security Alert

    It is normal to worry about your children and family when they are not with you, but you may find that you worry excessively and experience intrusive thoughts and images regarding their safety.

    These may include:

    • Images that they were in an accident, even when you have no real reason to think about it
    • Images that they might hurt or hurt themselves
    • Images and speculation that something happened to them, for example, due to the fact that they have not answered the call for twenty (!!!) minutes

    Such thoughts may cause you to seek reassurance about their safety. You can ask loved ones to text or call you when they reach their destination, or tell you when they are leaving to estimate when they will return home.

    While they are away, you may experience intrusive thoughts or images regarding their safety. This will stop when you receive a confirmation message or phone call, or see them come home.

    The Dangers of Safety Anxiety

    If you experience these types of unwanted thoughts, you can limit your children's activities to reduce the chance that they will have an accident. You may not want them to play certain sports, or you may find it difficult if your spouse or grandparent says he will bring them to the activity.

    Unfortunately, this means that your children's activity may be reduced or family members may not be thrilled that you always have to "report to them." This needs to happen to give you confidence and reduce the anxiety you feel.

    Before you start getting upset with yourself, you need to remember that you are doing the best you can with your obsessive thoughts at the moment, and with the right treatment, you can overcome this.

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    Eh, once again!

    Some people are familiar with the state of obsessive counting, devoid of any meaning. A person is not able to walk calmly, he must count the lanterns, benches, and oncoming dogs; only after completing the ritual can he calm down. He agrees that there is some strangeness in this, but it’s even worse when he no longer just counts, but looks for hidden meaning in the counting results, even plans certain actions for even or odd results, etc.

    Are intrusive thoughts normal?

    In a word, yes! Everyone has intrusive thoughts, I get them too! The problem is not the thought itself, but what you do with it.

    For example, if I have a random thought that I might do something that I think is bad, and if I just continue doing what I'm doing and don't pay attention, the thought won't bother me.

    Whereas, if I start to wonder why I had the thought, what does this say about me, what if I follow through with it? Then I add "fodder" to the speculation. And this is where the story begins to be created in your brain.

    The only difference between an intrusive thought that pops into your head and then goes away, and an intrusive thought that scares you and sticks, is how you respond to it.

    Why are my obsessive thoughts about “bad things”?

    Intrusive thoughts cling to what is important to you. For example, I adore animals, if the thought came into my head that I might harm an animal, it would certainly attract my attention as it would shake my values ​​to the core.

    I might have a few uninvited thoughts in my head, but most will go unnoticed. The ones that go against my core values ​​will be different from the rest. At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that we all have these thoughts, but some of them we pay more attention to than others. What values ​​you hold can play an additional role in this.

    If you receive an unwanted thought that goes against your core values, you are likely to feel something, such as fear, disgust, or anxiety. These strong negative emotions make the thought seem stronger than it actually is.

    Once a thought hits your core values, if you leave it alone it will wither and die, but if you pay attention; If you start thinking about it, analyzing it, paying special attention to it among all other thoughts, it will become stronger.

    Once a thought hits your core values, if you leave it alone it will wither and die, but if you pay attention; If you start thinking about it, analyzing it, paying special attention to it among all other thoughts, it will become stronger.

    It is important to note that the problem is not the thought, but what you do with it, how much you feed it.

    Urges (compulsions) and obsessive thoughts

    • Touching someone inappropriately
    • Want to kiss someone, this could include kissing your family members, people of the same sex (if you are heterosexual)
    • Hurt someone you care about
    • Admit that you didn't do something
    • The compulsions you receive depend on what you value; what do you value most
    • Intrusive thoughts, including urges, tend to go after your value base—things you would never do.

    Compulsions may also involve the urge to perform compulsions, for example, if you feel like you might hurt someone, you may feel the urge to remove any implements that might cause harm.

    Or, if you falsely believe that you are a bad person and have done something bad, you may be tempted to admit it.

    Are urges different from thoughts?

    No, both urges and thoughts are actually obsessions.

    Symptoms in men

    Among the main reasons for the occurrence of blues in the stronger sex are:

    • gambling addiction;
    • excessive and regular use of alcohol or drugs;
    • lack of stability in behavior, aggressiveness.

    All these characteristics can only dampen the depressive state, but they cannot help you get away from depression and save yourself from depression; you need to undergo treatment.

    The same stressful event can plunge a man into apathy at different levels. For some it will be a serious upset, while for others it will be a minor mood swing.

    Life circumstances that provoke the disease include:

    • dismissal;
    • problems in relationships with women;
    • difficulties in the family;
    • psychological tragedies;
    • change of place of residence;
    • reaching retirement age;
    • lack of purpose;
    • difficulties with finances.

    Let us note that if a person has previously experienced mental difficulties, then it will be much easier for him to get into such a situation again.

    How do obsessive thoughts begin?

    Take a moment and think about the different types of thoughts that may be running through your mind. If you find yourself at work, in a meeting, and your mind wonders, “Did I turn on the dishwasher…. What will I have for lunch...?”, you won’t pay too much attention to it.

    However, if you are going about your daily business and a thought of a sexual nature comes into your mind that you find disgusting or obscene, you will pay serious attention to it because it will not just be neutral.

    By "not neutral" I mean that it will probably make you feel something in your body.

    You may feel anxious, embarrassed, feel like your face is flushed, and arch your face as if you can somehow shake the thought. The first time you get a small stress signal. This feeling of anxiety combined with the thought may be enough for your brain to flag it as a threat.

    Reaction to stress

    Our brain stores potential dangerous situations for us, thus the subconscious mind protects us from danger. For example, the first time you place your hand on a stove burner and feel a searing pain shoot through your fingers, your palm, and every nerve ending in your hand, your brain remembers it.

    At the same time, the next time you put your hand on the stove, your brain will compare the image of the stove with danger and pain, and will prevent you from repeating the situation. Your brain has detected the stove as a "threat" - something that can harm you, and therefore you need to be protected from it. The next time you want to touch the stove (even a cold one!), your brain will automatically create a feeling of fear, which is actually very useful. Otherwise we would get burned every time.

    However, it's not a good thing when thoughts come into your head that have been labeled as possible "threats."

    What does this have to do with intrusive thoughts? A lot actually.

    When you first start experiencing intrusive language and it makes you feel something in your body: anxiety, nervousness, fear, shame, your brain matches the thought with the feeling.

    When you first start experiencing intrusive language and it makes you feel something in your body: anxiety, nervousness, fear, shame, your brain matches the thought with the feeling.

    When you first start experiencing intrusive language and it makes you feel something in your body: anxiety, nervousness, fear, shame, your brain matches the thought with the feeling.

    The more thoughts you have, the more times you feel anxious about it, the more your brain learns.

    Treatment: restructuring of brain neurons

    You may have come across this saying before, and I'll explain it in a way that I hope will make sense. Your brain learns through repeated practice or repeated experiences.

    For example, if you want to learn to drive a car, you are clearly not ready for Formula 1 when you get behind the wheel. This is because your brain still has a little way to go when it comes to driving.

    The more driving lessons you have, the larger this instruction becomes in your brain - the path evolves. With each driving lesson you take, neurons are rewired in your brain, sending signals until the path is completed.

    This is an important point. When the journey is completed, you can drive the car on autopilot, which is very different from your first lesson when you had to think about everything. Now you just get in the car and drive.

    Your brain learns from repeated practice and experience and can do the same if you “practice” your intrusive thoughts enough.

    If you keep worrying about the thoughts in your head, try to analyze and keep feeling anxious, it's like practice, repeated experience and your brain learns and eventually a path is created and your thoughts can come automatically.

    Exercise is very important to cope with depression

    There is nothing more important and useful than physical exercise. They make it possible to activate the body, which has a positive effect on the emotional state. After all, all this is interconnected, making up a single organism.

    Desirable physical exercises to overcome depression include:

    • Swimming;
    • Biking;
    • Fitness;
    • Any dances;
    • Yoga.

    All these practices are good because they don’t give you time to think about the negative side of life. In addition, they give vigor because they push a person to constantly improve himself and his capabilities. Thus, physical exercise perfectly combines all three levels outlined earlier.

    Establish nutrition

    It would seem, how is nutrition related to mood? However, this connection exists because the supply of all necessary components to the body (vitamins, minerals) through food is the most important component of health, and, therefore, mood.

    In order to avoid depression, you will need to include a significant amount of foods such as vegetables, fruits and freshly squeezed juices in your menu. For example, bananas contain a huge amount of endorphins, which are responsible for happiness.

    To cope with depression, it is important to reconsider your life

    An effective way to get rid of depression is to review your life. It will be necessary to do a lot in this regard: from reconsidering your life: reassessing values ​​to getting rid of the burden that pulls a person down. To make this stage go much easier and faster, you can seek help from a psychologist. Group therapy works great.

    It is very important to pay attention to this stage, so that after some time new energy appears that can be directed to changing the life situation. Without this, getting out of depression is simply impossible.

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