How to stop ruminating about intrusive thoughts

After years of practice, obsessing about the junk that pops into our heads can seem like an automatic reflex. It’s like there’s this rat constantly spinning a wheel of thoughts up there. But we can dismantle that rat wheel by understanding how we built it in the first place.

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25 thoughts on “How to stop ruminating about intrusive thoughts”

  1. For so long I questioned if she loved me. After getting that confrontation, my brain needed a wheel to spin, and it made me question if I loved her. Now the wheel won’t stop spinning, although I know damn well I love her more than anything. It’s killing me.

  2. I am 46 years old and have had this for as long as I can remember. For the last 4 months I have been in a deep depression in which I cannot come out of. In trying to learn more about depression I have been doing as much research as I can. It is in this research that I only today discovered the term "Intrusive thought". Although I can clearly distinguish between right and wrong, it has always bothered me, in fact "eaten a part of my soul" is probably closer to the truth, that these thoughts are even inside my head. I don't expect to be cured of this, but I have more hope today than I did yesterday, and indeed more than I had just 30 minutes ago.

  3. The is the same idea as the 4 steps ocd therapy which is . 1. When you sense the intrusive thought you go "oh hey, there's that thought again." 2. Label it as an obsession from ocd. 3. Do something else you want to do, whether its mindfulness, an activity, etc. 4. As you do this learn to accept that the thoughts are there. As you said, thoughts are thoughts ^^.

    Once you do it enough your brain starts doing it automatically. The idea is to stop your brain from even going on the rat wheel 👍

  4. This all makes sense! About a while ago ago I started to wonder if I had contracted HIV from this female. I was so distraught and so anxious about it I didn’t believe me when doctors told me I was fine. I would try and try to find issues. My body started acting up because of the anxiety. Started getting “symptoms” but didn’t have anything. Later after I got done with that anxiety and stopped worrying I found myself worrying about having MS or a tumor. I would feel so worried and anxious. Then after that I thought which is now I found myself wondering if I’d ever get an illness so I’d pay extra close attention to anything I heard or saw I’m fears of getting something. I told myself this has to stop. I made a pattern of worrying and now my brain often times finds issues in ANYTHING. But I have been reading and watching self help videos to overcome not only the ocd but also compulsions and things I do to distract myself. I’m no longer trying to worry about issues and when intrusive thoughts come up, dark ones, I count down 5,4,3,2,1. And then tell myself don’t worry. And picture myself in the future healthy and with a kid and a family. Or sometimes I’ll just not give the supposed “fear” importance because in the end a thought is just a thought. But i will admit it’s quite exhausting. Today I’ve been trying it but man I feel so drained. Is that normal? And another question. Does this work for every day life activities? And how do I get my mind completely off intrusive thoughts to the point where I don’t have to even try to get rid of them. Does that come with time and you simply implanting a positive routine and slowly they fade?

  5. Hi mark i have sexual intrusive though by looking at my mother i hate that completely i told my father i cried a lot just looking at her suddenly i had a thought which popped up from now where then i started ruminating why is these thought coming and for few second i had feeling like i like this thought not more than 3 or 4 second even at that after that whole day i was crying trying to give me a correct answer from the bottom of my heart i hate this i have ocd for five years it is eating me from inside help me mark what is making me more worst i know i am ruminating i am thinking felt like i get some excitement which i hate which was just for 3 second not and on the third second i got out of it

  6. The bane of my existence is "What if". Like when an intrusive thoughts pops in my head i just ignore it but after i ignore it i ask myself "If i ignore it that means i like it and i will become an serial killer", and after i reply with "what if i really like those thoughts" and the chain starts going…

  7. I’d just like 2 say from a fellow ocd sufferer, thanx mate!!! Your Chanel has helped me over the past few years. Iv recovered from my ocd n I can honestly say that u have contributed immensely 2 that👍🏾 I ran from ocd a lot of years n the only way 2 kick it is face it! 2 any1 suffering, listening 2 mark. He knows what he’s talking about. Any1 can kick it but ya gotta face it🇦🇺🤙🏾 n recovery is 4 ever so stick it out

  8. Certain things or events can trigger my bouts of depression, or even thoughts. They can be something completely innocuous and unrelated to anything I’ve done or said. These stimuli can sometimes be totally abstract and beyond description. Could someone describe or relate to this phenomenon?
    It once became so bad, that I had to leave work and go home off sick. I was incapacitated for the rest of the next day.

  9. OK. I watched a video before this, I am going to email them to my councilor to talk about, where you talked about intrusive thoughts and how the brain is your best frienemy and so on. Cute video. At any rate, if your brain as you say in that video is only sending you these thoughts because it thinks you want them to be happy because you like solving problems then why isn't it smart enough to realize the bad thoughts are what you don't want only the good thoughts like you were describing in this video. Why doesn't your brain just send you good thoughts all the time? And why are we talking as if the brain is something that isn't you or a separate entity somehow? You are your brain that is where you are there is nothing else no matter if you believe in god or the soul YOU ARE your brain. Seems weird to talk about it as if it is some red headed step child or unwanted younger sibling.

  10. THank you so much for the video Mark. It is really interesting and insightful, but I was wondering if you could make a video on HOW to stop that will, HOW to achieve that instead of WHAT to do. Because, I am mindful of the thoughts, I know I have to stop the wheel, but it keeps spinning. So, my question is besides being aware of the rat wheel, HOW practically can I stop it? How do I do that? Thank you very much <3

  11. I have a question: in regards to intrusive content [thoughts, images, sounds, etc.], I noticed how you said 'our labeling of the particular item is what makes [causes] the unpleasantness'–do you contend that this is always true? I ask because in my experience, through excessive desensitization [provoking / deliberation], I was not able to completely alleviate the stress from it [there was always some residual grating-energy]. I do believe that some stuff is intrinsically repulsive to some extent towards who it is presented to: for example, pictures of gore will usually repell most people, because I believe it is a biological response acquired via evolution for survival–thus not all fight and or flight responses are necessarily correlated to judgment–and are in some sense innate. What do you recommend for this specific scenario, then?–Are the techniques the same or is there some hidden neuronal node we still have yet to circumvent? Thanks.

    To answer my own question: acting how you want to act seems to be the minimal thing to do when faced with utter instability and or indecency; even if not mindful and present–just doing what you want will [I think] inevitably lead to a more pleasant outcome long-term–that's my current conclusion anyways. The harder part to this point is that I do not always know what I want and my feelings are not readily clear to my beliefs of what is real: for this instance, I think bare-plad stupefaction is required. When faced with horror, in that dismal inferno, the only thing left within psychological reach [through acclimatization] is non-reactivity. In the end, our cells are gobbled back up from the atoms 'n' stuff of the void, so make use of being you! Your configuration is [perhaps] the only one which has ever been. That being said, we are all relativistic amateurs coming into life, because not much of anyone have / has ever lived beyond 100+ sum years.


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