How I Deal With Mean and Intrusive Thoughts

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Photo by Naomi August on Unsplash

Let’s do a quick test here. Look at this picture below.

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What is the first reaction when you look at this photo? Do you find it funny? Did you laugh? I’ll be very honest with you, the first time I looked at it, I instantly burst out laughing.

But you really shouldn’t. In fact, you should feel sorry for that person, because that fall can cause severe injury. This photo has been on the internet for a decade, and I do hope now he’s OK.

I want to share something personal with you. Many people see me as a generous and kind person, but from time to time, I would have intrusive thoughts and have the urge to do something even I know it’s wrong.

For instance, I wanted to see someone fail when they are trying hard. I felt jealous of other people’s success. I might have the urge to gossip. I could be complaining and blaming others when things don’t go into my way.

Probably I can refer that as the dark side of my heart.

There’s no way I’ll follow those mean ideas, but I feel ashamed and guilty just by having those thoughts. I even doubt myself: Maybe I’m not a kind person at all? Or maybe one day, I’ll voice out my thought which might end up hurting other people.

I had a look on the internet, and it turns out everyone will have intrusive thoughts. It’s normal. It’s just that if you don’t manage it well, either you are giving in and become a not-so-kind person, or become depressed because you are so obsessed with it.

I’ve done my research, and in this article, I’m going to share three tips that work for me in dealing with those unpleasant ideas.

You have to know that nearly everyone will experience intrusive thoughts at least once in their life. It’s backed up by research. That means you are not alone and this is natural.

Another myth is, you might think these thoughts pop up because your subconscious mind wants to do it, and you might not be as good as you think.

That’s not true. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

As I said, these thoughts are uncontrolled. If you are worried, then doesn’t that mean you have self-awareness? Doesn’t that mean you are a thoughtful person?

So you shouldn’t beat yourself up, and instead, ignore them and let them slip through. These thoughts don’t have meaning, so it’ll be a waste of time and effort thinking about it.

As I said earlier, it’s best to laugh it off, but sometimes it’s not as easy as we think. We may still feel ashamed or annoyed when there’s an urge to do or say something that’s inappropriate.

If there’s only one thing I can recommend you to do, that has to be meditation. I’m a big fan of meditation, it comes with so many benefits and many successful people practise meditation daily.

When you meditate, you focus on your mind and breathing pattern, and eventually, you’ll get rid of those feelings that don’t belong to you.

And did I mention there are different types of meditation? There’s one type of meditation called Gratitude Meditation. As the name suggests, you’ll be expressing gratitude for the things in your life during the meditation process.

Why being grateful matters? That allows you to express more compassion and kindness, and it also gives you positive energy which prevents those stupid thoughts invading your mind. It just makes you a happier person in general.

It’s a life-hacking technique, and I strongly recommend you to do so.

The best way to prevent toxic emotions from arising is to develop a positive attitude. Simply put, if you are positive, then you are immune to negative thoughts. Apart from meditation, there are plenty of ways to uplift your mood.

The easiest way is to smile more. Even you are sad or not in the mood, by all means, just smile anyway. Smiling can trick your brain into believing that you’re happy, even it might not be the case.

Another way is to help people out. Try volunteering. When you get to help someone out, you know you are making an impact on others, and that is so rewarding and satisfying.

And of course, if you’re too busy to help out, you can also try donating. It doesn’t have to be a lot, by starting with donating ten dollars monthly, you can slowly see the difference.

When you are doing good deeds, it’ll satisfy the top level of the hierarchy of needs, it feels great and you’re just not going to pay attention to those bad thoughts.

I’m writing this article because negative thoughts come in more often than they used to be, and that really affected my mood.

In fact, at uncertain times like this, we tend to see things pessimistically, and that’s why it’s so important to look after our mental wellness, and come up with plans when you are feeling distracted with those intrusive thoughts.

First of all, acknowledge that it’s natural to have intrusive thoughts because we are human beings. Don’t bother and move on, and if you are concerned, try meditation and cleanse your mind.

And lastly, try to maintain a positive vibe, by appreciating things around you. Laugh more, exercise more, and help other people out.

So, are you going to make a change now?

I’m Keith So, enjoy writing and hope to inspire others. See more of my articles at or sign up my newsletter for my Complete Guide to Build Super Self Confidence.

A never-settled millennial that likes to write topics about career and personal finance for the like-minded.

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