Uncontrollable thoughts are not uncontrollable, but they can feel like it. These are those intrusive thoughts that come when you don’t want them to, that you can’t seem to shake. It can be related to something that has you stressed out, something you worry about, a past experience you regret or dwell on, or fears about the future.
Intrusive thoughts often feel uncontrollable because they keep popping up in your head, which then leads you to over-analyze, stress, and overthink these thoughts. It unfortunately is a common cause for severe stress, but with the right methods, you are able to gain control of these thoughts and keep them at bay.
What Causes Intrusive Thoughts?
Uncontrollable thoughts are often very intrusive and almost always come without warning. You might experience images you don’t want to see, relive past traumatic experiences, or see your greatest fears and worries in your mind time and time again. It almost seems that the harder you try to get these thoughts out of your head, the more difficult it is to get rid of them.
This can cause stress, but the thoughts are often FROM stress and overwhelm as well. You aren’t able to stay calm or positive, as the thoughts just keep coming back. You might also keep them a secret due to the nature of some of your uncontrollable thoughts. If they are causing you great distress, making your stress worse, or leading to becoming very overwhelmed, then it is time to do something about them.
When Thoughts Become Obsessions
Some people experience these uncontrollable and intrusive thoughts as a result of a mental health condition like anxiety disorder, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This makes it really important to see a mental health professional to get the disorder treated, as the stress you live in your daily life can only make it worse.
For people with OCD, you might find that the thoughts turn obsessive, where you can’t stop thinking about them, and you may even act on them.
The following tips can help if these thoughts go beyond just causing stress, but serious struggles just in your daily life:
Mindfulness does take a little practice, but it can be amazing for those thoughts that feel uncontrollable, whether obsessive or not. With mindfulness, you aren’t trying to get rid of the thoughts, but make more sense of them. You get into the state of acceptance of what is happening right now, then are able to stop thinking too much about the past or a future that may or may not happen.
Switch your thoughts (even temporarily)
You may not be able to just wish the thoughts away, but sometimes you can distract your mind even for a few minutes at a time. It might not seem like much, but this is going to relieve your stress related to these intrusive thoughts at least in short bursts. It WILL make a difference, and before too long, you are able to distract your thoughts for longer periods of time.
Write it down
When you have a lot on your mind, doing a brain dump in a journal is an excellent method. This works both for things you want to think about, and those that you don’t. Plus, a journal is personal and private, so you don’t have to show anyone else what thoughts keep invading your mind and causing distress.
Talk to someone
It is also a good idea to talk to someone about your thoughts, whether you tell them exactly what your intrusive thoughts are, or just to have a little distraction. Call up a family member or friend, text someone, meet a friend for coffee. Their conversation is often enough to give you at least a few minutes of peace from your own intrusive thoughts.
Simple Steps for Overcoming Uncontrollable Thoughts
If you still don’t have a handle on your uncontrollable thoughts, there are a few more things you can do to manage them, which is going to help you control your stress and overwhelm as well.
Here are some more tips for these intrusive thoughts:
Use mindfulness to accept them, then move past them.
Mindfulness helps you to reach a level of acceptance, so instead of just trying to make the thoughts go away, accept the thoughts, then try to move past them, removing their power over you.
Understand why the thoughts are there to begin with.
Sometimes your uncontrollable thoughts are trying to tell you something, similar to how a dream isn’t realistic, but it is sending you a message or explains what your subconscious is going through.
Stop trying to will them away.
This isn’t going to work, and may even cause you to focus more on them. Think about it like a craving. If you have a craving for something, the more you try to get rid of the craving, the more you want it. But if you have just one of whatever you’re craving, it eventually goes away.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because I wanted to share some lifestyle-based strategies to improve your overall mindset and mental health, which in turn improves your life. You must do the internal work to improve your overall health. You can do this by learning what motivates you and working each day on improving your mindset. Your thoughts control your feelings, which controls your behavior. You can cultivate certain behaviors and practices that will not only enrich your life, but that you can pass on to your family, friends, and community, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
If you are familiar with my approach, I use functional medicine and lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle modifications, such as stress reduction and mindfulness exercises, can help you feel better about yourself and your life. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Is Dietary Supplementation Right For You?
Did you know that what you eat can have a significant impact on your mood and mindset? A poor diet can lead to decreased energy levels, low moods, and even depression. Conversely, a healthy diet can improve your mood, help you feel more energetic, and boost your overall sense of well-being.
For some people, vitamin and mineral supplements offer important health benefits. Supplements are designed to fight deficiencies found in our diet and complement the food we eat regularly. Supplements are basically “helping hands” to our daily food.
When stress, anxiety, and depression creep in, it can be difficult to stay motivated and keep your head in the game. Fortunately, dietary supplementation can help. Certain vitamins, minerals, herbs and other natural ingredients have been shown to improve moods and reduce stress levels. For example, B vitamins (such as B6 and B12) are essential for maintaining healthy brain function and producing energy. Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in fish oil supplements, are known to reduce stress hormones and promote relaxation. Magnesium is also important for mental health – it helps regulate stress hormones, reduce anxiety levels and improve quality of sleep.
In addition to these supplements, there are also a number of herbal remedies that can help with stress management. Herbs such as lavender, chamomile and passionflower can be helpful for calming the body and reducing stress levels. Valerian root is another popular stress-relieving herb – it helps to relax the mind and promote restful sleep.
Ultimately, dietary supplementation can play an important role in improving your mindset and mood. If you’re feeling stressed or down, consider adding some of these supplements to your daily routine! They may just be the key to unlocking your mental wellbeing.
So… if you are unable to eat better and need supplementation, the supplements in my Mindset and Mood Support Bundle may provide the extra boost you need.
These are my favorite Mood Support Supplements to use! This Mindset and Mood Support Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency while you improve your sleep, decrease your stress, and improve your mental clarity, naturally.
Tools For Motivation And Mindset
Although you don’t need a cushion to meditate, you may want to consider using one at some point. You could meditate in a chair, or simply sit on the floor if you want. You can also use pillows or cushions from your furnishings to try out. Cushion, chair, bench, floor – it’s all good. Eventually, though, if you’re not sitting upright on a chair, you’ll probably do well to buy a dedicated meditation cushion. The cushion will support your sitting posture and help you create an appealing mindfulness corner that will encourage you to practice every day. I recommend this meditation cushion and mat bundle.
If you struggle with stress, depression, or anxiety, keeping a journal can be a great idea. Even if you don’t have these conditions, journaling can enhance your life in many ways. Having difficulty processing your thoughts and emotions? Journaling can help clear that mental clutter and move towards a positive mindset. Research suggests that keeping a journal can have positive impacts on both mental and physical health. So, to start you on your journey, I recommend this self care journal.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, meditation and mindfulness, as well as healthy and supportive relationships are the best ways to support mental health. Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
Still Feeling A Little “Off”?
You may want to consider looking at your neurotransmitter levels. We’ve all heard of neurotransmitters—those chemical messengers that facilitate the transmission of signals from one neuron to the next across a synapse. But, what do they actually do? Neurotransmitters influence and regulate a wide range of processes, from mental performance and emotions to pain response and energy levels. It’s no wonder why many people seek professional help when their neurotransmitter levels become imbalanced. Let’s take a closer look at how neurotransmitters work and what options are available for addressing imbalances.
What Is a Neurotransmitters Test?
The best way to determine if there’s an imbalance is through testing. The Vibrant Wellness Neurotransmitter Test is designed to measure levels of various hormones and chemicals in the brain and peripheral nervous system that play an important role in mood, memory, aging, balance, nervous function, movement, pain perception, eating behavior, sleep/wake cycles, stress biology, heart rate variability (HRV), etc. The Neurotransmitters panel measures levels of important hormones and chemicals in the brain and peripheral nervous system—including serotonin (mood), dopamine (motivation), epinephrine/norepinephrine (energy), GABA (relaxation) , glutamate (balance), acetylcholine (memory) , histamine (inflammation).
It’s also important to note that this test looks at both active levels as well as metabolites which helps identify underlying causes for imbalances such as poor absorption or metabolism. With this data in hand, you can start making changes that help restore balance.
Imbalances in these chemicals can lead to a variety of symptoms including irritability, anxiety or depression; cognitive issues such as forgetfulness; sleep disturbances; fatigue; digestive problems; low libido; weight gain or loss; etc. A Neurotransmitter test is used to detect underlying imbalances that may be causing these symptoms.
What Are the Benefits of a Neurotransmitter Test?
A neurotransmitter test can provide valuable insight into your overall health. It can identify any underlying hormonal or chemical imbalances that may be contributing to your symptoms. Once these imbalances have been identified, you can work with your healthcare provider to develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses the root cause of your symptoms. This could include lifestyle changes such as diet modifications or exercise regimens as well as supplements or medications designed to correct any deficiencies in neurotransmitter production.
What Can I Do if My Test Comes Back Positive?
If your test comes back positive for an imbalance in one or more neurotransmitters, there are several things you can do to get back on track. The first step is to identify any underlying lifestyle factors that could be contributing to the imbalance (such as sleep deprivation or poor nutrition). Once you’ve identified those factors, you can begin making changes – such as improving your diet or getting more exercise – to help restore balance. Additionally, certain supplements may also be recommended by your doctor or health care provider in order to promote optimal neurological functioning and support healthy neurotransmitter levels.
In A Nutshell…
Neurotransmitters are essential for a healthy mind and body – they influence mental performance and emotions while helping regulate key processes like pain response and energy levels. If you’re feeling off balance lately or experiencing unusual symptoms like insomnia or digestive issues it might be worth looking into whether there’s an underlying imbalance in your neurotransmitter levels causing your discomfort. A Neurotransmitters panel test will give you valuable insight into what’s going on within your body so you can take corrective action if needed! With the information gained from this test you’ll be able to better understand what’s going on within your body and make informed decisions about how best to bring yourself back into balance!
PLEASE NOTE: If you or someone you know is experiencing severe stress, anxiety, depression and/or other mental health issues, please contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889. This is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
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