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How to Stop Intrusive Thoughts With Lily Sais

Let's be real, intrusive thoughts can be so ICK! They can lead you down paths of...

Whoa... Would I do that? What does this mean? What is wrong with me? I can't be thinking this! I'm so crazy! "Normal" people don't have these thoughts. And it's not just the thoughts, but it's also the uncomfortable sensations, symptoms, and feelings that they sometimes carry with them.

But I truly believe that when you understand more about your brain and your response to the thoughts, it really helps to take some of the ick out of them. Because the truth is, we all have intrusive thoughts, because we are human and our brains love to go to weird places sometimes!

Lily Sais is a former school psychologist turned anxiety recovery coach. And today, she's here to talk about intrusive thoughts with us! Lily has first-hand experience with intrusive thoughts and has lots of wisdom to share on the topic. So if you're struggling with intrusive thoughts, this episode will be incredibly helpful to you.

Let's Talk About How to Stop Intrusive Thoughts

What Intrusive Thoughts Are

Lily says that to her, intrusive thoughts usually feel weird and foreign. They are unwelcome thoughts that tend to make us feel weird for even thinking about them. Lily gave an example of an intrusive thought about standing on a rooftop and thinking "I could jump right now.". You don't want to jump, and the thought feels scary! Intrusive thoughts can make you question yourself, and ask things like "Does that mean I actually want to jump?" or "Does this mean that I want to hurt myself?". And most often, these thoughts target the things you care about the most.

Everyone has intrusive thoughts from time to time, but they become an issue when you start reading into them and questioning your own morals and ethics for having these thoughts. When we interpret an intrusive thought as unsafe to think about, these thoughts tend to keep popping back up because we're giving them so much attention and we're analyzing them and resisting them. And because our brain is trying to solve the thought. And, unfortunately, you can't solve a thought!

Why Intrusive Thoughts Don't Hold Any Meaning

Lily mentioned that intrusive thoughts, like panic and agoraphobia, can feel really true. It can really feel like you're a bad person, or there's something wrong with you, or leaving the house is actually dangerous. But the reason why it feels true is because our brain's perception of threat is a little off. And the good news is that we are capable of creating new connections in our brains that help us to recognize that we aren't in danger! Lily says that any person she has met that is struggling with intrusive thoughts is kind and lovely, and is innocently misinterpreting their thoughts!

Helpful Tips For Finding Freedom From Intrusive Thoughts

Wanna know how to stop intrusive thoughts? Well, remember that everyone has intrusive thoughts and you really can't stop them from popping into your brain, BUT! Allowing intrusive thoughts not to cause you distress starts with making the choice to not have an opinion about your thoughts. Because when we have an opinion of the thought, we only create more resistance to the thoughts we don't want. And that resistance keeps them hanging around! Letting go of these opinions will be tough at first, but taking the small steps will allow them to start flowing with more ease. And it'll help them to stop showing up so much! And with time, you won't even notice if/when the thoughts pop up.

Don't forget to tune into the full episode to hear my conversation with Lily, and to get all of the helpful tips that we shared on overcoming intrusive thoughts!


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