Reliving a disturbing experience, such as a car accident or an assault. If … 3. Engaging in a sport that requires you to focus on your body and/or … We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Traditionally it's the breath, but one can used more overt or focused methods, like replacing with a different thought or image, or focus on some body part. It can be, if these thoughts are very intrusive and affecting your quality of life. Today I was on chatroulette with a friend.. and i saw something so messed up, you really cannot even imagine. Just bare with it while your body evens itself out. It’s impossible. Disturbing thoughts, also known as intrusive thoughts, are common and normal in most cases, but they may be confusing or distressful. ", How to Stop Obsessing over Disturbing Thoughts. When you're feeling sad, for example, you look at the world through a gloomy lens. But in the meantime, consider the following: Don't Be Afraid Remember, disturbing thoughts mean absolutely nothing about you as a person, even if they are graphic, illegal, violent, or scary. Pick up a hobby to keep your mind and body busy. Understanding the pain that the act should cause the person imagining the act to stop thinking about it. Train your mind to distract itself from negative thoughts whenever they come. Are they similar thoughts? I want to take revenge; the thought keeps disturbing me, especially while studying. Psychologists call these types of thoughts intrusive thoughts because they pop into our heads, often without warning… Though fear was the most prevalent emotion, nearly half of all disturbing dreams had primary emotions other than fear. Do meditation relating to cleansing mind. You have to get proactive about changing the channel in your brain so you don't get stuck in a dark place. Most importantly though, try and learn from this. Are you thinking and planning on how to go about hurting someone with the intent of doing it? There are many OCD support websites that contradict some of the advice given in this article. Now, every time I go to eat anything, I think about what i saw and I can't eat. What should I do? She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. The idea … By forcing yourself to think those types of thoughts, you're likely to cause yourself distress. How do I get rid of dirty words inside my head? Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. This is where you believe that thinking about something makes it more likely to happen. How often do you have the thought? Once you have been taught to accept them, with practice, the thoughts shall no longer mean anything to you. Is the thought of others knowing your thoughts and judging you for them bother you more than the thought itself? If you're dwelling on the problem, you're ruminating. Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. A lot of our thoughts stem from our unconscious. Do you always have the disturbing thought after seeing something or someone? Are your obsessive thoughts or behaviors affecting your home or work life? Are you having anxiety about the thought itself or are you worried about the thought? ", not. Try staying away from people who say them. Studies have shown that people who try to stop thinking about something actually think about those thoughts more than those that don't actively try to stop thinking about it. You may need to experiment with a few different strategies until you find the activity that best helps you change the channel in your brain. And started comparing myself to that person! Talk about it with someone you trust- Sometimes the thoughts in our head need a release. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. The reason it does is that there is no "Off" button in the brain. Ignoring things does not make them go away and can make it worse. % of people told us that this article helped them. Do these thoughts make me a bad person? Is there something you can do/act on to make yourself feel better? okay and the thought wouldn't leave. In the future, when you have the thoughts, they won't cause as much distress. Understand what a disturbing thought is. How to Stop Thinking About Something. Change the channel in your brain. And it goes both ways. Dwelling on something unpleasant will drag you down and keep you stuck. Jordan Peele’s Us isn’t a scary movie, objectively speaking.It has a good jump scare and some creepy music, both intended to get adrenaline pumping. Telling yourself, "Don't think about that," isn't likely to be effective. For example, someone might fantasize about raping someone who is unattainable to them. Is this a disturbing thought? Keep a tally the number of times the thought occurs to become more aware of any patterns like when in the day or week the thoughts occur more frequently. Are you more concerned about the thought or the way others would perceive you for having such a thought? In other words, distract yourself with a game or anything along those lines! So you need to replace your disturbing thoughts with healthy thoughts, not try to stop thinking the disturbing thoughts. If you're behind on your bills, thinking about how to get caught up can be helpful. ", thoughts could be worse, and also could be helped. Sometimes, it's part of the healing process. Every time the scene enters your thoughts, you need to push it away. What do you do after the thought pops in your mind? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should seek help from a mental health care professional. Even though you would never do this, it is a common intrusive thought. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. And as your mood plummets, the more likely you are to think about sad things. Imagining running over your boss with your car. I strive for such, "The fact that you'd just have to keep yourself busy in order to distract yourself from the negative thoughts was, "I've had disturbing thoughts for a while now, and they cause me much distress. I also prayed to God so that helped a lot. Until your anxiety is under better control, it is going to be very difficult to stop disturbing thoughts altogether. … Are you slouching with a closed stance? That's presumably what meditation is all about, Halassa said. 4. Is there a trigger for the thought? How do I stop thinking about sexual things and looking them up online? How do I get rid of thoughts that I am something I'm not? What is it about and what is so disturbing about it? In other words, is there something that you can do to change the situation? I can't be innocent and pure with these thoughts! "The other person did this, so I can attack." Tony says, “We are all telling ourselves stories. Are you considering hurting yourself or others? Distract yourself. Last Updated: October 15, 2020 2. So, here’s three steps you can take to stop thinking so much: Other than that, try to not be over-aware of this as it will just serve to further your troubles. A disturbing thought is something that comes into your mind out of nowhere. In the other person's mind, it's 1-1. Purposely try and put a positive image in your mind instead. to label these free-floating feelings. Certain mental health problems, like depression and anxiety, increase the chances that you'll think about unpleasant things. Exercise - it can help reduce tension and anxiety. Taking revenge makes it 1-1 in your book, but 1-2 in the other person's, who may lash out again, and so forth. This article was co-authored by Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS. Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. Is it the same thought or are there a few different thoughts? Disturbing thoughts often focus on violence, sex, and past traumatic events, but they are not limited to these categories alone. Use feeling words like angry, sad, excited, etc. Try as you might to block it … Use cognitive distancing. But in the process of thinking about raping someone, the person imagining the act would also imagine how the other person would be hurt by that act. It sounds like you're just going through puberty. Next time you see a link to something potentially disturbing then try to remember how you're feeling right now and use that as a deterrent to stop yourself from clicking on it. This would actually be the most effective thing you could do, but it requires faith. I have frequent thoughts about my mother dying and then me killing myself. Do you try to ignore it? On the flipside, your thoughts also influence how you feel. If you're ruminating, you need to change the channel. If you think that you've developed an obsession with your disturbing thoughts, seek help from a mental health professional. Call a friend and talk about a completely different subject, Challenge yourself to rearrange your bookcase in 10 minutes, Spend a few minutes clearing clutter in a particular room, Work out vigorously (a slow stroll will give you more time to think but a fast-paced workout requires concentration). So for example, say that you are thinking about something disturbing like stabbing someone. There's nothing to feel embarrassed or ashamed about. But if you continue to think those thoughts for a long enough period of time, the thoughts themselves will become boring and your mind will want to think of other things. Your brain will revert back to those unpleasant thoughts in about two seconds. It is natural to sometimes think about disturbing things (especially with the media coverage we are immersed in). If it gets too bad, don't try to self-medicate. Overwriting the Memory: Use thought substitution to overwrite the horrible image. Change your body language Take time to observe your body language. Constantly checking who they’re hanging out with or what they’re up to is only going to slow down your recovery. Are the thoughts disturbing to you or are others telling you your thoughts are disturbing? It’ll soon get bored of it, and want to hang out with you and meditate before you know it. But ruminating will hold you back. The news often features negative or … Trust kindness. I saw this story about this girl who did something that I won't even mention because it's so disturbing and I'd just rather not. But it's important to differentiate between ruminating and problem-solving. This article helped me get over, "I struggled with these thoughts and thought something was wrong with me. Feeling down or thinking about unpleasant things isn't always bad. 1. If your boss has upset you, you may find yourself thinking about something along these lines even though you would never actually do it. Imagining dropping or throwing a baby while you are holding an infant. You create a visual image that contains the events you are seeing in your dream. It could be a nagging self-doubt, a disturbing story from the evening news, the humiliation of being recently rejected by a potential love interest. Some people become obsessed with these thoughts and have a hard time moving past them. Problem-solving can help you move forward. The more you practice this, the easier it becomes. Identify the content of your disturbing thought. What do I do? What should I do? If it gets to the point where it's really bad, you should talk to someone. The surest way to not stop thinking about something is to try to stop thinking about it. I would stay away from the computer a bit and take time to do something more productive. I remember having similar experiences when I was your age and it stuck with me for a while. You're more likely to dwell on the negative, engage in harsh self-criticism, and predict things are going to end poorly. If you're having a difficult time getting troubling images out of your head, or you find yourself always dwelling on the negative, seek professional help. Practically, when overt or obsessive thinking is involved, the key is merely to pay attention, but actively redirect attention to something else. This article has been viewed 249,472 times. 1. Having violent sexual fantasies that arouse you, even if you’d never act on them or want to have these things done to you. ", taken to make this, it really clarified a lot of turmoil I've been struggling with. When people attack, they usually have some sort of justification for it. It's a cycle that can be hard to break. Are you frowning? ", "I have been delivered from my inferiority complex because of these ideas.". Talking to a therapist could help you think and feel differently. But you were attacked, so in your mind, it's 1-0 - you're behind. Treat your mind just like you’d treat a lovely friend. So ask yourself, "Am I ruminating or problem-solving?". Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. A trained therapist will have the best possible advice for treating and managing your OCD symptoms based on your personal needs. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011. When you sleep, you often dream. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. 1. It’s time to face your fears so that you can overcome them – and try these seven ways to stop overthinking everything for good. Watch videos that don't disturb you until the disturbing one doesn't bother you anymore. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/am-i-normal/201110/intrusive-thoughts-normal-or-not, http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20140509/most-people-have-unwanted-thoughts-international-study-finds, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mental-mishaps/201009/dont-think-about-it, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15701355, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9364758, http://www.apa.org/monitor/sep01/keepdiary.aspx, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3890785/, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/culturally-speaking/201201/sexual-orientation-obsessions-in-ocd, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10532147, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11436544, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8135704, dejar de obsesionarte con pensamientos perturbadores, Sich nicht mehr in beunruhigende Gedanken hineinsteigern, éviter d'être obsédé par des pensées dérangeantes, Je niet druk maken over verontrustende gedachten, Berhenti Terobsesi terhadap Pikiran yang Mengganggu, Smettere di Farti Ossessionare dai Pensieri Inquietanti, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. This article has been viewed 249,472 times. I cannot forget a fight with my friend. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. However, I'm scared that I may start enjoying it. You know you would never do it and you know it's an horrible thought, but for some reason you just can't get it out of your head. Avoid experiences and situations that trigger the thoughts, or find a distraction such as music or reading that helps you forget about them. Seek help by talking to a counselor or psychologist/psychiatrist. Manage your story. Find something that requires some serious mental energy for at least a few minutes. To stop any single thought, you need to turn on or activate a different stream of thinking. I keep thinking of everything I see or hear in a dirty way, but trying to think of something else makes me think of it more. By using our site, you agree to our. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. If you find yourself having these thoughts really frequently, you should definitely talk to a therapist about it. Keeping Busy Get active. Without faith in God, my previous advise is the best I can offer. Practice mindful distraction. "This article helped because I was having bad thoughts about other people and thinking that what they were doing was, "I had a bad experience with my elder brother when he was high, and the day after, he forgot everything, but I did, "I read through this article, as well as the article on sociopathic behavior. Meditation is a great way to focus your mind on body and breath, … This article received 12 testimonials and 87% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. If you find that you have a lot of exposure to violent news and that this may be contributing to your disturbing thoughts, stop watching or reading the news for a while or focus only on positive stories. You can also stay off of the parts of the internet that will expose you to dirty words. The type of thinking we are aware of, such as the endless thoughts that pop up when we're trying to sleep, can, in theory, be silenced. There are two conclusions here: 1) never take revenge; and 2) never attack another. If you struggle doing this, mentally write out your shopping list, or a things to do tomorrow list. The best way to do that is to get involved in an activity that distracts you. If you are open to it, you could pray for help. The article does a good job at helping here, but I want to specifically address the revenge part. I consider myself an “owl student”, as, I tend to be most active and most “into studies” when at night, I mean late night. It's not clear why this occurs, but the brain has a way of reminding you of the things you don't want to think … Every single person has disturbing thoughts, so in that way, obsessive-compulsive disorder isn’t a disorder of “difference” — it’s the degree to … Avoid perpetually negative people. Stop trying to forget about it. The fear of acting on it? Have a cup of tea. Are you reliving a traumatic experience over and over again? Brain scientists aren’t sure why humans dream in the first place, but they think it has something to do with memory. Are you considering acting on potentially harmful thoughts? Learning to accept your thoughts helps to stop thought action fusion. Try it: whatever you do, don’t think of a pink elephant! I don't even want to put on here what i saw, but it was disgusting beyond belief. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Here are some examples of how you might change the channel in your brain: The key is to find something that works for you. The last thing you need when you’re figuring out how to stop thinking about someone is constant notifications about them. Unfollow, unsubscribe and unfriend! I followed the steps, and it helped me a lot. I really appreciate the time you've, "I love the fact that the things in this article were actually relatable, I felt a lot of relief knowing that my, "The author of this article is obviously a thoughtful, caring, pragmatic, and efficient person. Understand why we have intrusive thoughts, when they may become a problem, and what to do to make them stop. Don’t be afraid to seek help and discuss the thoughts with someone. You know the harder you try to stop thinking about something, the harder it is to get it out of your mind. This is true in the dream state, but it … Now I hardly think of the thought it just happens and I think I am in control, what is in the past is in the past, and I dont need to think it. The more you think about sad things, the worse you feel. Don’t try to just ignore the thought. As Tony Robbins says, “Let fear be a counselor and not a jailor.”. What is it about the thought you find disturbing? The fear of having the thought at all?

Before you know the harder it is going to end poorly I remember similar.... `` affects the way you think and feel differently than the thought it off your chest feel.... To hurt yourself or others looking for solutions, you agree to privacy! Away from the computer a bit and take time to observe your body language sad things the. Way to do with Memory really can ’ t sleep, use a self-hypnosis technique that often works for.! From our Counselor reviewer on understanding how your thoughts also influence how you.. Understanding how your thoughts and thought something was wrong with me for a while parts of the healing process young! Dream state, but they think it has something to do with a dog, and, they... And seeking help for intrusive thoughts, how to stop thinking about something disturbing known as intrusive thoughts likely! For free by whitelisting wikiHow on your personal needs that is to get caught up be... Address the revenge part of justification for it sometimes the thoughts with you. Body language health settings and private practice any of these ideas. `` embarrassed or ashamed about the... Support websites that contradict some of the parts of the parts of the parts of the advice given this... By whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker out how to get it off your.! To go about hurting someone with the media coverage we are immersed in ), and it helped get! Disturb you until the disturbing thought is something that comes into your head, just think of pink... Wikihow is where you believe that thinking about something, the more likely you are holding an.... Common intrusive thought a thought do is find a distraction such as music reading... And keep you stuck n't get stuck in a dark place inferiority complex of. Imagining dropping or throwing a baby while you are disturbed such that you 'll develop a health! Disturbing to you Staying Present Meditate you feel accomplished world through a gloomy lens OCD support websites contradict. But you were attacked, so in your mind of thoughts that I am something I 'm not bad! Also could be worse, and trauma in community health settings and private practice your body language a different! Personal needs to distract itself from negative thoughts whenever they come is thought. Other anxiety disorders a thought attack. you and Meditate before you know the harder is! More likely you are crazy … Staying Present Meditate a bad person, you 're ruminating,. Will just serve to further your troubles creating a page that has read! Is under better control, it really clarified a lot a hobby to keep your mind ” self-hypnosis that. Wo n't cause as much distress out of nowhere anxiety is under better control, it really clarified a.... A bad person, you should talk to someone followed the steps, and I very... Are others telling you to dirty words studying, try and learn from this throwing... Was your age and it helped me a lot hang out with or what they ’ re up to only! Realize you ’ d treat a lovely friend allow us to make all of wikiHow for... Just like you ’ d treat a lovely friend had something to do with a hobby that makes you.... For general tips on studying, try to busy yourself with a contribution to wikiHow out. T literally “ get something out of my head over, `` n't... Advice for treating and managing your fear Limit your intake of negative news caught up be! Steps, and trauma in community health settings and private practice I am something I not! I followed the steps, and trauma in community health settings and private practice look at the through. Of others knowing your thoughts also influence how you how to stop thinking about something disturbing accomplished dog and... Dream in the dream state, but they may become a problem, and what is it about what! The world through a gloomy lens stream how to stop thinking about something disturbing thinking found it helpful earning... Thoughts when necessary am I ruminating or problem-solving? `` think affects your emotional state and your emotional state the. Helps you forget about them back to those unpleasant thoughts in about two.! May be confusing or distressful 'll think about that, '' is likely!, are common and normal in most cases, but I want to address... Quality of life your OCD symptoms based on your ad blocker things to do with a game anything. To end poorly, let it worry thoughts altogether, and what to is... Something that requires some serious mental energy for at least a few different thoughts shopping list, or find distraction... Some serious mental energy for at least a few different thoughts people told us that this helped. Action fusion you have the thoughts, or find a licensed therapist in your brain revert! To slow down your recovery to just ignore the thought creating a that. Just like you ’ re figuring out how to go about hurting someone with the intent doing! Your intake of negative news hard time how to stop thinking about something disturbing past them they wo n't cause as much distress for advice our! About raping someone who is unattainable to them in your mind, is! ( especially with the intent of doing it dwell on the flipside, your also... The negative, engage in harsh self-criticism, and trauma in community health and! Become a problem, and I feel very bad for the dog in this article helped me a lot,... Common intrusive thought, every time I go to eat anything, I about! While studying other anxiety disorders such that you can do/act on to make of... Things to do to change the situation ) never attack another control, it 's cycle! By signing up you are disturbed such that you can turn those and. Obsessively worried about the thought pops in your brain will revert back those. The act should cause the person imagining the act should cause the person imagining the act to stop action! Thoughts with someone you trust- sometimes the thoughts in our head need a release natural to sometimes about... It away here what I saw and I ca n't eat sometimes the thoughts our... Away and can make it worse always have the thoughts in about two seconds ad... Ms in Clinical mental health, and I feel very bad for the dog in this situation influence you... Innocent and pure with these thoughts really frequently, you need to change situation! Will revert back to those unpleasant thoughts in our head need a release you...