Intrusive Thoughts, Part Two: How to Deal With Them

This post is the second of a two-part series on intrusive thoughts. You can find the first post, where we broke down intrusive thoughts and talked about what they look like, here.

Having intrusive thoughts tends to feel like an everyday struggle. By their very nature, these types of thoughts can work their way into our subconscious and fool us into thinking we put those thoughts there ourselves. But even though this might be something we deal with on a daily basis, there are ways to manage intrusive thoughts with how we acknowledge and deal with them internally. Here are some of the most effective ways to deal with intrusive thoughts.

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Intrusive Thoughts, Part One: An Overview

One aspect of my life with anxiety and depression is constantly dealing with intrusive thoughts. It doesn’t matter the time or place, and it doesn’t depend on the activity I’m doing, but every so often, I have unwanted thoughts that become stuck in my brain. And I’m not alone – more than 6 million people are estimated to deal with intrusive thoughts in the U.S. every year, and those are just the people who feel comfortable telling their doctor about it. But what exactly are intrusive thoughts, and how can we recognize when we have them? Let’s break it down.

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Defining Success During A Pandemic

When someone asks what it means to be successful, the same words come up often. Wealth, fame, finding love, living a comfortable life. There so many seemingly obvious answers to this question, and sometimes it seems objective in the way we define success. Whether or not you agree with these answers (personally, I don’t), that definition isn’t relevant right now – and we need to get used to that for the time being.

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Advice If You’re Feeling Lonely

It’s a hard time, it’s a dark time, it’s a strange time, it’s a weird time. I feel like I can’t write any new post for the foreseeable future without addressing that, but it still feels weird to say. On top of people having anxiety over the situation and having to deal with figuring out how to stay at home, plenty of people are feeling lonelier than ever at this time. Part of that is obviously being at home (stay inside if you can, friends!) but part of that is not being able to see who we want to see in person.

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What’s the Right Level of Anxiety to Feel?

After the events of the past few months, I feel comfortable saying it’s a nervous time right now – to say the least. And rather than tell you why that is, pretending I’m any sort of medical expert (I’ll just point you to the CDC), I want to focus on the anxiety that many of us feel right now surrounding the situation.

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Something to Remember When We Feel Overwhelmed (Part 2)

Earlier this week, I wrote part one of this post where I talked about a possible approach to take when you feel overwhelmed. Obviously, there are many things we can do when feeling overwhelmed (I even wrote about some of those things last year), but this two-part post is more about the thought process we have while feeling this way, and some thoughts we can stick to so that we don’t feel too overwhelmed.

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Improving On My Post-Vacation Blues

Sometime last year, I wrote about the post-vacation blues. I’d just gotten home from a trip to Texas and even though I go there every year (sometimes more than one), I was particularly down. Fast forward to this week: I once again visited Texas, and when I returned from my trip I felt a little bummed out. There were two key differences here, though. The first difference is that I was in Texas for my twin brother’s bachelor party (!!!), which of course is something I’ve waited my entire life for (being a twin). The second difference is that this time, while I am a little bummed out, it didn’t hit me as hard this week as it did then. And I’d like to expand on that second difference.

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This Will Be A Difficult Week

When I wrote my post last week about the impact and influence we have on other people, it was inspired by the recent passing of a man, a former basketball coach who worked with my father. His influence and impact on the game, and on so many people, is immeasurable, and so much of what I know was learned by coaches who learned from him – about the game and about life. The funeral was yesterday, so I knew this week would be difficult regardless. And then I heard about Kobe.

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Understanding Our Impact on Others

I’ve been thinking a lot about the word ‘influence’ this week and what it means to me. That word gets tossed around all the time now because of the term ‘influencer’ but honestly, the reason an influencer goes by that term is accurate. If an Instagram influencer posts about an ad or a product, they’re doing so because that company recognizes their influence and knows that what they say matters to tons of people. And while not everyone might have an audience of thousands or millions hanging on to our every word, we all have some sort of influence on others. But the thing is, we don’t always know in what way.

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The Link Between Sleep and Mental Health

Once upon a time, I used to be good at sleeping. Then, when I was 18, I went through a rough stage of life and it affected my sleep schedule in a major way. It became almost impossible to go to sleep, stay asleep, and get the right amount each night. I’d be going through my day on 3-4 hours on average – it wasn’t fun.

Since life does go on, I got through that rough stage, but my relationship with sleep didn’t get better. And though it’s improved in the years since then, it’s very safe to say that I don’t sleep as much – or as well –  as a healthy person should.

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