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really helpful 👏
We get many intrusive thoughts which we might be dealing them in a wrong way. These thoughts could actually trigger many mental health conditions like depression, OCD and anxiety.
The researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have found that proactive control is better than reactive control for managing these intrusive thoughts. It is better in the long run, it is better to sit with these unwanted or intrusive thoughts rather than changing your focus of thought.
Managing Intrusive Thoughts
Hannah Martin, a psychotherapist and founder of Talented Ladies Club,, says that, “When we have a reactive response, such as replacing the thought with a more desirable one, we are simply trying to fool our brain, almost like a sleight of hand trick, but what we aren’t doing is interrupting and eliminating the habit.”
By being proactive it doesn't mean that we are giving the unwanted thought free rein, but “making it conscious, challenging its validity, and whether or not it serves us” so that we can choose so as to how we want to feel and think.
“Reactive thinking is not empowering,” she says, “We aren’t ridding ourselves of our habitual, intrusive thoughts. Instead, we’re trying to mask them with a coping mechanism. Proactive thinking enables us to recognize and change habits, which empowers us.”
She describes that the intrusive thoughts as our "mental habits" with the thoughts that sometimes shows up from our subconscious, which stems from things we believe about ourselves or how we think we’re perceived by others.
If you find a recurring intrusive thought or a similar theme then ask yourself that what it might be rooted in, does it relate to the things you have felt while you were young or when other people have said anything to you or about you? Then this can be a clue.
“When you can see it has an origin, and that origin may not be based on a truth, you can stop accepting it as inevitable or a fact, and see it for the illusion it really is,” says Martin.
Sources - Very Well Mind