Mindfulness involves focusing your attention on the present moment without judgment. Examples of mindfulness meditation include:
Acceptance and Reframing:
- Breath awareness: Sit in a comfortable position and notice your breath as it enters and exits your body.
- Body scan: Lie down or sit comfortably and bring your attention to your toes. Slowly scan up your body to your head noticing any sensations, tension, or discomfort as you go.
- Walking: Find a quiet place to walk slowly, paying attention to your feet hitting the ground and the movement of your body in comparison to the environment around you.
Rather than struggling to push intrusive thoughts away, try acknowledging them without judgment.
Understand that thoughts are not actions, and you have control over your responses. Try thinking of these phrases instead:
- I am in control of these thoughts.
- I am stronger than these thoughts.
- I choose to focus on positive thoughts and let go of the rest.
- I am worthy of love, happiness, and peace.
- I trust myself to overcome challenges.
Envision a "thought stream" where your intrusive thoughts are floating by like leaves on a river. You're not diving into the water to examine each leaf; you're merely observing them as they pass by.Engage in Positive Activities:
Engaging in activities you enjoy and that bring you a sense of accomplishment can redirect your focus
away from intrusive thoughts and toward positive experiences.Challenge Negative Assumptions:
Often, intrusive thoughts are based on irrational assumptions or fears. Challenge these assumptions by asking yourself for evidence supporting or disproving them.Seek Professional Help:
If intrusive thoughts are severely impacting your daily life, it's advisable to consult a mental health professional.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, and medication can be effective treatments.