How do I stop myself from having irrational thoughts about situations?
Last Updated: 04/13/2020 at 2:59pm
Jennifer Geib, LCSWR
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Top Rated Answers
First, you have to accept these thoughts. If you are nervous to ask someone on a date because its possible they will react poorly, you should acknowledge that that may happen. There is no doubt in my mind that that could happen. Then, we need to consider how realistic that is. Well, yes, it could happen of course, but the chances are extremely slim. If you are asking them on a date, chances are they are a nice person. They could say no but the chances are very high that they will be very kind about it. OR they will say yes. Attempting to ignore the irrational thoughts will probably make it worse. Instead, accept that it may in fact happen but thinking about it rationally the chances are very slim.
Start reading or writing something. this will reduce your stress and transport you to other realms or distract you and keep you in the present moment, letting tensions drain away and allowing you to relax.
Take a step back and try to see the situation with impartial eyes. Are you overreacting? are you biased? what would an outsider presented with FACTS about the situation see?
Completely relax yourself..detach yourself from the current situation. .imagine yourself without the problem and you will see it will be out of your mind eventually
I really like numbers, so I think about probabilities. I start with the worst case scenario and I think about all the things that have to occur in order for that situation to happen. And then I give it a percent of probability. So the rarest situation would have a 5% chance of happening and what actually happens is 95%. I tell myself there is a 95% chance that nothing crazy will happen.
Ask others for input or view the situation as if you were an outsider. Once, I was the last person to finish my test in pre-calculus. My teacher stood over me and tried to rush me to finish the exam, and by the time I left, I felt like she would know me as 'the slow ditzy girl.' But then I viewed the situation as an outsider and realized that she has so many things on her plate, she probably didn't see it as a big deal! And I was right :). She ended up being one of my favorite teachers at my university.
I try to think about every possibility separately about my worries and irrational thoughts. Soon I realize many are needed to be ignored and I need to focus on what is most practical.
plan ahead so you know what will happen and if and when you have irrational thoughts challenge them ask yourself if it will actually happen what the likely hood is then think or more realistic outcomes slowly rationalise the irrational thoughts with time it becomes natural and reduces incidences of irrational thoughts
Practice filtering the thoughts! At first the irrational thoughts will be automatic. Be aware of your thoughts regarding a situation and check them "at the door". If they are irrational, deny them entrance. Do not believe them or act on them. If they are rational, let them in as a *possibility* or *likelihood*. Make decisions based on your best judgment at the time. As we practice filtering thoughts we get better at discarding the irrational ones quickly so that we are left with the rational ones. Eventually, we will be thinking mostly rational thoughts and laugh at the irrational ones that do come up from time to time!
Try to look at the bright side of things, try to debunk your own irrational thoughts about things. You can't stop yourself from thinking them but you can stop yourself from believing them.
Yoga, meditation can take your mind of many things and can reduce stressful thoughts.Also listening to music can help dramatically
Keep yourself busy. Stay out. Read books. Hang out with friends. Stay away from being idle. Spend more time with loved ones.
You can stop yourself from having irrational thoughts by taking a breather and taking time to review the situation, how you feel, what you can do, what you can tell others or what the best solution is before doing the action you want to do first. Doing this can help remove any negative possibilites and promote better outcomes.
I can ask myself, "Is this true?" and journal about this question. I can also run this question by a friend or a family member and see what they say about the irrational thought I'm having to get some feedback.
You are not alone. Do not be embarrassed to ask for advice. You may also compare your version of reality with that of other people, particularly those people close to you whom you can count on to tell you the truth. This is not about letting other people think for you – it’s about looking at all sides of the equation. So you have a theory. Test your theory. Gather more data. Compare or contrast. Alter your version so that it encompasses more than just your narrow viewpoint. This is also a way of gaining perspective. Be kind to yourself. You are not the first person to think or behave irrationally. You will not be the last. People do it all the time. The point is not that you have irrational thoughts but what you do to minimize their impact on you.
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