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How do I stop the thoughts that seem to take on a life of their own?

19 Answers
Last Updated: 02/22/2021 at 5:11pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Parvathy Venugopal, MSc in Clinical psychology


Life is chaotic and you need to rest if you're tired. I am here to help you relax until you are ready to start over again.Your mental health is priority, so is your happiness.

Top Rated Answers
January 27th, 2015 7:27pm
My M.S. causes anxiety and panic. Panic can feel like a heart attack or feelings of doom. Firstly, I keep up with my doctors and physical health! It's easier to handle anxiety when I know I'm not dying! Secondly, I practice deep breathing and distraction with hobbies our music. Finally, I listen to others. If I throw all my troubles into the lot with everyone I come into contact with each day, at the end of the day I'm happy to take my own back as I realize I have much to be grateful for!! :-)
January 30th, 2015 12:19am
I learn self acceptance and make peace with my thoughts that does not corporate with my logic senses. Sometimes I do sports to let out this frustration and throw the burden off by replacing it with some success in life.
June 30th, 2015 1:43pm
Although it is hard to stop your thoughts from spiralling out control sometimes, it is important to remember that they are nothing more than just that 'thoughts', they don't define you as a person and being able to distance yourself from them is important. Mindfulness exercises are very useful in dealing with uncontrollable thoughts or even sometimes just saying them aloud to either just yourself or to another person helps you to move past them and let go.
March 13th, 2015 3:40pm
Unluckily, there isn't an on and off button to stop these thoughts. However, what you can do is let those ideas in and analyse them to see if they are rational or not. When you identify them as irrational you'll be able to let them go and forget them. If they are indeed rational, you'll be able to act on them wisely.
March 20th, 2015 2:46am
Write the thought down that you can't get off your mind. Each time you think of it write something that makes you happy or that you look forward to. Your list will grow and it will give you something to get your mind off of what's troubling you.
April 11th, 2015 3:18am
Think positive thoughts. Talk to others about things that make you happy. The more you feed into negativity, the more it arises.
May 3rd, 2015 4:42am
Don't give them life. Thoughts are part of you. If you cling on them, they will cling on you. It's not easy, never easy talking terms with yourself. Fighting with yourself. But start living for what you want, what you deserve, for your happiness. And they will stop taking life eventually. Don't give up.
May 21st, 2015 11:58pm
These have to do with anxiety. Most of the time what you should do is talk to someone about it or distract yourself. There are many people who deal with the same thing.
June 7th, 2015 11:31pm
There are ways to let things pass; imagine those thoughts floating away on a river. Works for me. Good luck
June 18th, 2015 7:01am
I personally tried to talk with someone who was willing to help me talk through those thoughts and try to get rid of them and it really does help
June 29th, 2015 12:55am
I struggle with intrusive thoughts, and, sometimes even voices. I have achieved lasting recovery from the worst of them through a series of techniques: - Fitness + Mindfulness: Anxiety, Blood Pressure, Depression, Mood, Oxygen, Sugar, Hormone levels All play a part in the body's response to psychological human stress. Forcing physical stress on the body through fitness has shown to train the body to respond to mental stress more healthily, and also boosts needed neuroreceptor levels in the brain. You also learn to feel your body, which is key to determining where in your body you can most easily feel anxiety, fear, anger, etc. -Meditation is also a key practice. 7 minutes of a recorded breath meditation a day is plenty, but the key to stopping the thoughts is to first recognize them as soon as possible. If able, notice what triggers these thoughts. -Professional/Clergy assistance: Take what you learn about your intrusive thoughts to a psychologist, therapist, or a holy person near you who you trust, and have them help you decipher the root cause -Create a Practice: I used daily affirmations, meditation, writing, and exercise (+ medication) to stay balanced, and to directly treat the root cause the psychologist helped me see. Recovery is possible!!
September 28th, 2015 4:29am
First of all, distraction can be really important. It allows us to stop, or slow this thought cycle. When you feel as though your thoughts have stopped or have slowed down enough you can then begin to look at the thoughts more objectively. There may be a solution to these thoughts, and there may not be. At the very least being distracted can give your mind a short break so it is better equipped to control the thoughts if they return.
February 1st, 2016 2:54pm
Well, look at yourself in the mirror. Cry it all out then just breath in and breath out. Say positive things to yourself everyday while looking at yourself in the mirror. Distract your mind while doing other activities.
May 23rd, 2016 9:43am
Try not responding to the thoughts because if you do talk back then you are actually empowering the voice. It can be difficult but know it will pass. Maybe this is due to overthinking or feeling anxious about something but it will be ok.
August 15th, 2016 10:24am
You need to take a moment and just let them be. Analyze them as if they are an experiment and try to figure out the reason for them and why they seem to be dominating your thoughts. Try practicing retraining your brain, and counteract these thoughts with facts. Like if you tell yourself that you are a bad person, remind yourself what you are proud of in your life and the good traits you like about yourself. Try to be logical and not let the emotional part of the thoughts keep you from being truthful to yourself.
November 14th, 2016 3:05am
Hello, I felt the same, I recommend you to have a activity that distracts you from those thought, physical exercise helps a lot.
November 13th, 2017 4:33pm
I play the piano and I sing to get my thoughts somewhere else. It's very relaxing. I will also listen to music.
May 18th, 2020 8:06am
A way to stop the thoughts is by gently reminding yourself of the goal you personally want to achieve & begin thinking of how it will be achieved. Distraction is form of resetting that will help block the negative or worrying thoughts that seem to take a life of their own. Recall how motivated you were when you initially established your goal and the time frame of when your goal will be accomplished. Surpass the blockade that is there, because reminding yourself of how far you have come and how much you have improved also helps to put thoughts in a optimistic order.
February 22nd, 2021 5:11pm
Thoughts feel so personal but you're right, they take on a life of their own. We feel like we 'do' thinking but its more like breathing, it can be voluntary or involuntary. It can be hard to stop these thoughts, the attempt just sort of fuels the fire. We can try though to observe them, create some distance between ourselves and the thoughts that come up. This too can be hard but it's something we can practice. By observing them we might notice recurring things that come up, we might notice they change based on circumstances or just by us giving them attention. With time you could find they slow down or there is more room for you to regain control of the direction these though go in. Hope this was of some help :)