Three Ways to Cope With Intrusive Thoughts in OCD Recovery

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Three Ways to Cope With Intrusive Thoughts in OCD Recovery

If you are struggling with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), you likely experience intrusive thoughts. You are not alone in feeling like you are at war with your mind or like your mind is not yours. Through normalization, externalization, and neutrality you can begin to cultivate peace to manage obsessions and compulsions.

Normalization of Intrusive Thoughts

Intrusive thoughts are a hallmark of OCD, but they are also something that all humans in general experience. However, while intrusive thoughts are normal, the difference for someone experiencing OCD is that intrusive thoughts tend to get “stuck” and play on repeat.

Other hallmarks of OCD include rumination, repetition, and trying to figure out if intrusive thoughts are going to come true or not. These patterns are what keep those struggling with OCD stuck in the cycle of thought obsessions.

Still, as all humans experience intrusive thoughts from time to time, you do not have to view them as something to be resisted. They are normal, and healing from OCD is a matter of learning to recognize rather than react to them.

You Are Not Your Thoughts

An important aspect of OCD recovery is learning that you are not the thoughts you think. Although the thoughts present are real in the sense that you are experiencing them, they are not necessarily “true.” You are not your thoughts—you are merely an observer of them.

Learning that thoughts are just thoughts is a way to practice mindfulness. This practice can help you experience relief from believing everything your mind thinks, even the things you don’t have control over.

Thoughts Are Not Good or Bad

Another helpful aspect of healing from OCD is relating to your thoughts and emotions with neutrality. Often, you might view thoughts and emotions as positive or negative when in reality they are neutral.

When you practice neutrality, you are saying that thoughts are not good or bad, they just are. Viewing thoughts as “bad” or with negativity is a strategy used to attempt to get rid of the thoughts. However, when you can view thoughts with neutrality, acceptance, and allowance, your thoughts and feelings start to lose their power over you and begin to soften.

Recovery from OCD and other mental health conditions is not linear. Even so, healing is possible, and recovery is possible. You are not your thoughts and your thoughts are not you. By learning new ways of coping with and relating to thoughts and emotions you are experiencing, you can heal from OCD.

Struggling with OCD, anxiety, and depression can feel like you are constantly at war with your mind. Experiencing intrusive thoughts can make you feel like there is something wrong with you. At Avalon Malibu, we want you to know there is nothing wrong with you and you are not broken. Healing is possible. Through learning how to cope with and relate to your thoughts, feelings, and emotions differently, you can experience peace and relief within your own mind. Call Avalon Malibu today at (844) 857-5992.

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