Wondering how to stop intrusive thoughts? Here are some ideas for managing negative intrusive thoughts for your mental well-being.
Struggling with Negative Intrusive Thoughts
“I’ll never be good at this.”
“She’s a better Mom than I’ll ever be.”
“I should be doing a lot more around here.”
“I have to put in so much effort to look pretty.”
“I’m disappointing so many people in my life, and myself.”
Do any of the above statements strike a painful chord?
Yup, same here. Same.
There are definitely good days – days where I’m on top of my A-game, days where I’m literally flying around the house and all over town, checking every single task off my novel of a “to-do” list.
Then, there are my not-so-good days – hitting the snooze button to oblivion, forgetting the wet laundry in the washer, neglecting untamed bedhead for 3 days straight, and succumbing to the kids eating ice cream for breakfast.
These bad days can take a severe toll on our mental well-being, especially since we can be so hard on ourselves. When we compare ourselves to others, it’s easy to get stuck in an emotional rut.
Let’s dive into how to begin managing negative intrusive thoughts.
How to Begin Managing Negative Intrusive Thoughts
Reshaping Your Brain
Think about it this way… The less we exercise our bodies, the more our bodies struggle in keeping up with our daily demands. It’s similar to your brain and your overall mindset – if we don’t give our brain the same amount of care and attention as our bodies, our brains fall out of the healthy habits it needs to keep us mentally fit.
If the mind is not in a healthy and stable place, you are putting yourself in jeopardy of continuing a vicious cycle of negativity.
There is good news, though. You can rework and train your brain into blocking out some of the most unhealthy, negative thoughts that are preventing you from feeling the fulfillment you deserve.
Here are some essential things to remember when negative thoughts begin to intrude on your positive thinking:
- It’s always going to be up and down. Right now, that may not sound like the most positive news. But it’s the truth. If you’re in the down right now, remind yourself – it wont always be like this. it wont always be this hard. I wont always be this sad. I wont always be this overwhelmed. The challenges you face will only make you stronger, wiser, and more resilient to the negativity that you and your mind will face down the road.
- You’re not alone. There are women, children, and families just like yours, going through very similar struggles. When you’ve spent your days at home tending to your kids with little to no adult interaction, it can become physically and emotionally exhausting. The way you raise your family sets you apart from the rest, though. You likely inspire at least one other person in this world to be someone like you.
- You are human. You hear it almost every day, but it couldn’t be any more valid. Super Girl isn’t human, but she’s still not a perfect being, regardless of her incredible strength and ability to see right through… well, just about anyone. Forgive yourself for the days you falter on being a superwoman and be proud of the things you have accomplished.
- Life happens. You’re not going to get everything done in one day or even that week. Give yourself some grace and understand while you’re out there filling everyone else’s cup, you need to fill your cup, too.
- You’re raising good humans. Regardless of your kids being angels one day and ((redacted)) the other day, you’re raising them to be the best humans they can be. Our kids will have their ups and downs, too! Always remember that they are your amazing kids, and you should be proud of them in every way, flaws and all.
- Your partner is very fortunate to have you. We all sometimes wonder if we are good enough for our partners. There are so many ways we can show our partner appreciation, but don’t sweat if you’re just not feelin’ it some days. Being a mother and a partner who unconditionally loves their family is exhausting, but fulfilling. If you are single, give yourself some extra love and focus on the keeping and caring of you.
- You are absolutely gorgeous. You better believe it. You are incredibly beautiful, no matter if you’ve spent 5 minutes or 5 hours in front of the mirror today. If you’re all about the lipstick and high heels life, awesome. If you’re about the baggy tees and sweats for days, fantastic. You do you, boo!
- You’re not lazy. Rest should not be something to look upon negatively. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and you need rest to be your best self, the best partner and the best caregiver you can be. Regardless of your spotless, pristine kitchen or the endless piles of papers scattered throughout the house, you’re doing a fantastic job. Take care of yourself first, then the mess later.
- You don’t have to convince anyone that your life is perfect. Because it’s not, and that is okay. Nobody’s life is near perfect. Because of social media, Hollywood, and the internet, we expect ourselves to show off only the extra decadent slices of our lives to the public. When we see other people living “perfect” lives on social media, it’s easy to compare ourselves to what we see online.
- Don’t worry about the Joneses. In other words, try not to compare yourself to others as much. However, if you are using other people’s successes as inspiration and not self-deprecation, then that’s a different story! We all have role-models. As long as your role-model treats you well face-to-face and encourages you to be your best self, that’s all that matters.
All in all, the truth is
You are an incredible parent to your kids and an excellent partner to your spouse.
You are absolutely gorgeous, even when you wear the same PJ bottoms for three days straight. And you certainly don’t have to keep up with the Joneses. Let them cover their entire front lawn with plastic flamingos. You can be whoever you want to be, without being like anyone else.
Your self-confidence is precious. No matter what path you are leading in your life, you are a gem and inspire others. You have the power to stand up for yourself against your intrusive negative thoughts. Take care of your mind, and your mind will do the rest.
I hope this post about managing intrusive thoughts has given you some ideas to better support your mental health! For more tips, check out these posts: