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Are Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts Interfering with Your Peace?
Thursday, March 28, 2024 by Lyvita Brooks

Have you ever felt hijacked by your own thoughts? Unwanted intrusive thoughts can be more than just a nuisance; they often leave us feeling out of control and questioning our own sanity.  As believers, this can be confusing. Join me, Lyvita Brooks, as I open up about my own battle with these clutter monsters. This episode isn't just about sharing struggles; it's about equipping you with the tools to deal with and how to manage unwanted intrusive thoughts.  So you can go and do what God's designed you to do.
 

 

 

 

Full Transcript Click Here 

Introduction

Have you been dealing with unwanted thoughts?
Have you been dwelling on the past more than the present or complaining about the future?
Has your anxiety level increased because you keep hearing thoughts that make you feel uneasy and you can’t stop them?
Have you been thinking about stuff you know should not be passing through your mind?

Stop. Take a Breathe. This episode is about how to manage intrusive thoughts. They can be clutter-monsters. If you let them.

 

 

Clarity About Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts

1:23 – Saints, let’s get some clarity about intrusive thoughts before diving into how to manage them. Saints they have a way of cluttering up your mind until you become so engross in those thoughts until you can’t enjoy your day or your God.

Unwanted Intrusive thoughts are ideas and images that come into your mind, uninvited and typically unwanted. The thoughts can range from making you feel uneasy to disturbing and they usually are the last thing you want to think about.

A few examples might be hurting yourself or someone else, worrying about catching a serious illness or virus, thinking about doing something illegal, dwelling on past experiences a lot, unwanted sexual thoughts, reliving emotions from bad memories, thoughts that cause you to doubt the things written in the Bible.

FYI. Intrusive thoughts Does Not mean that you are a bad person, or a person who is failing in some way, or that it’s something you want to act out or that you will. nor does your thoughts dictate who you are. And lastly, God is not judging you - He loves you.  

Saints, we are living in a world of sin. Research suggests that intrusive thoughts are going to come. It’s natural. It’s human nature. Research also says that intrusive thoughts go away more quickly if you don’t try to push them away, give them too much attention or get fixated on them.

4:09 – That brings me to this bit of information I want to share with you. Unwanted intrusive thoughts are called obsessions. They are repeated thoughts, images, urges that are unwanted and can make most people anxious. They bring up uneasiness and can cause mood swings or put you on an emotional roller coaster. None of these are good. They are clutter monsters that have formed and we are about to bust through the nonsense, so keep listening.

There are things that can trigger unwanted intrusive thoughts. I’m only going to cover a few.  One trigger is stress. Another is anxiety. Another is hormonal shifts (i.e. heat flashes, hair loss). And another is biological factors. Other triggers are depression, trauma, mental health conditions, imbalances in one’s brain chemistry, and environmental stressors (global warming effecting food supply) or learned thought patterns. 

Now Saints, once you recognize that you are having unwanted intrusive thoughts. Don’t fret. You see they can’t be deleted or stopped but the frequency of them can be decreased. This is why I titled this episode managing intrusive thoughts. Saints, they are going to happen. You probably just had one.  So how do we manage them and what can we do to maintain a healthier thought life?

6:34 – Saints, this is where self-talk is going to be critical in managing unwanted intrusive thoughts that are interfering with your peace of mind. 

 

 

6:46 – Saints, we will get back to the episode. If you believe that this podcast is beneficial please share it, rate it and review it on whatever podcast platform you are listening to right now. When you do so it helps the podcast reach more people with the message of decluttering your mind so that you can be all that God’s called you to be. Now back to the episode.

 

 

 

7:15 – Talking about unwanted intrusive thoughts. Saints for the past 12 months, I’ve been reliving the past. My wakening consisted of reliving the last 23 years of my broken and now dissolved marriage. I’ve tried to understand it, analyze it repeatedly, rethink what I rethought, ponder if this or that was different and it all boils down to the fact that I can’t change the past. So why am I still trying to live there in hopes of making it right.

Saints, I had to get to the point where I stopped dwelling on the “what ifs”, the “shouldas”, “coulds”, “wouldas”. Cause truth be told, I can’t change one I-ot-ta of the past. It’s done. I’m, nor we are not designed to keep reliving past bad memories. They happened, THEN. NOT NOW. They are no longer real. The present is real because that is where you and I are living in right now. The present.

So what did I do besides talk with my therapist about these lingering, reoccurring thoughts that I did not want because they were draining me just as much as the marriage did and my health, my body, was feeling the impact.

 

 

3 Ways to Deal With Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts

Now here are 3 ways on how to deal with unwanted intrusive thoughts and 5 ways manage intrusive thoughts:

9:27 – First, realize that it is an unwanted intrusive thought. Remember some of these thoughts are going to come in your mind and fly away because you didn’t entertain it. That’s good, but for those that keep coming around and are bothering you, bring it into captivity to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10: 4-5 “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every loft opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” 

10:27 – Second, pray. Tell the Lord that you are thinking this thought that you don’t want and you’ve brought it under the obedience of Christ Jesus and now you are bringing it to Him. Philippians 4:6 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Don’t fret about it, just remind yourself that you’ve given it to God and He’s going to deal with it.

11:12 – Third, pivot. Do a Philippians 4: 8-9, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if the is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me - practice these things, and the God of ace will be with you.” Saint think about something else that you are grateful for or what you’ve learned. This is my go-to where I start listing in my head what I am grateful for and many times it seems to help with clearing that clutter out of my head. Remember, I said that intrusive thoughts are clutter-monsters.

So Saints, that’s how you deal with intrusive thoughts by recognizing, praying and pivoting. Recognize that it is one, praying to God about the thought and then pivot by thinking about something else. Recognize, pray and pivot.

 

 

5 Ways To Manage Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts

12:44 – Consistent spiritual practices - have a habit of reading, studying, meditating and memorizing scriptures. Saints when I said earlier to pivot well you need something to pivot to. When you have scripture as a regular part of your life, the Holy Spirit has something to burp up in your head that will help you pivot accordingly. Remember Isaiah 55: 8-9, God’s thoughts aren’t our thoughts. His is greater, so put enough of Him in you by daily and intentionally following Jesus steps of spending time with God in His word.

13:49 – Prayer Journaling - Write how you are releasing your intrusive thoughts and how God is helping you. Remember God doesn’t want us dwelling on the past where it cripples us in enjoying our present. So take this time, no more than 15 minutes to get it all out on paper. Then nudge yourself back into the present by putting it down, giving yourself permission to forget about it and pivot by trusting God. If the future is triggering unwanted intrusive thoughts, use this way to manage it as well. I’ve put a link to prayer journaling on the email newsletter, so don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already. The link is in the show notes. This is where you have to trust God like Proverbs 3: 5-6 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

16:20 – Physical Activity - Saints, get to dancing, walking, jogging, pickle ball, take a self -defense class or pottery class (Check out the prior episode with Kelly Brinkmann about pottery) …Saints, just do activities that involves more movement than daily cleaning the house. Again, our goal isn't to eliminate intrusive thoughts but to manage them because they are a normal part of being a human being. The point is that you don't want it to overtake your peace of mind. So get out and get some fresh air. Go hiking. Immerse yourself in nature, being outside, if you can, because all the sensory experiences of sound, sight, scent, will ground you into the present. Saints exercise is a good help.

17:47 – Deep breathing - this will cause you to focus on your breathing and switch from fight-or-flight to a state of relaxation. This is one I try to do often. It was difficult while I was going through because it would resulted in coughing. It's like it triggered more stress. But the more I remembered to do it. The better it got. I'm still working on it to keep me calm.

18:33 – Keep a regular routine - this reduces stress and anxiety which can be triggers. It definitely was for me. Routines are keeping a regular wakeup and bedtime hour, eatting meals around the same time, along with exercise and also spend quality time with the Lord meditating or journaling while silently listening to the Lord speak to your heart. This is presently being redefined, adjusted as I become more settled in my new season. Routines can change as seasons change. But I’m also learning that even though the time you do certain things change there is one thing that remains the same, having quiet time with the Lord, uninterrupted.

So Saints that's 5 ways to manage unwanted intrusive thoughts. Consistent spiritual practices like reading your Bible before going to bed, prayer journaling like giving yourself time to unpack the mess before God, physical activity life walking outside for 30 minutes, deep breathing, and keeping a regular routine like am quiet time.

20:57 – I need to stop here. Listen saints, if the intrusive thoughts are becoming persistent and interfere with your day-to-day life then it's time to seek professional help. I did. Sometimes a therapist, a good therapist can help you get the clutter out of the way so you can think straight. Saints, we all need help from time to time. Unwanted intrusive thoughts are clutter-monsters which can stop you from being all God's called you to be. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to seek help, God’s given us different gifts and talents for a reason.

Now, I've given you some ideas on how to deal with and manage unwanted intrusive thoughts, but always if it persists, get help from a professional support.

 

 

Conclusion

22:29 – Let's Pray …. Lord, I pray that if my brother or sister is dealing with intrusive thoughts that you use this episode to help them recognize it, practice how to deal with it, learn how to manage it and get help if needed. I pray this episode helps them come from out of the clutter of intrusive thoughts into the clarity of who You are to them and they to you so they can go and do what you called them to do. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

If you are new to this podcast, WELCOME! Thanks for joining us. If you believe that this podcast is beneficial please share it, rate it and review it on whatever podcast platform you are listening to right now. This will help the podcast reach more people.

So until we meet again over the airwaves intentionally and daily hang out with Jesus.

Shalom

 

Lyvita Brooks enjoys hanging out with Jesus, which is the name of her podcast, Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast. She is the author of a book that contains her mother’s poems and reflections left to inspire you to communicate with others instead of fussing. Nuggets for Thought, is that book.


Comments

Cecil Taylor From Plano, TX At 4/9/2024 2:43:33 PM

First, I appreciated this podcast. Lyvita speaks wisely from the experiences of her life. Second, I will appear soon on episode 99, my first time to guest with Lyvita. Not only was it a fun episode, but Lyvita was well-prepared, asked insightful questions, and navigated the episode adeptly.

Reply by: Lyvita Brooks

Cecil, it is always a pleasure talking with you about the Lord.


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