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HELP! My Intrusive Thoughts Aren't Causing Anxiety

anxiety intrusive thoughts ocd Apr 26, 2023
Intrusive Thoughts and Anxiety

Those pesky intrusive thoughts that have always said you’re in danger are no longer producing anxiety. NOW WHAT?! Anxiety loves to jump in at those moments. WHY ARE NOT NOT FEELING ANXIOUS? HELLOOOO! You must like these thoughts or better yet, you’ll do that thing I’m telling you that you’re capable of doing. Does it sound familiar to you? It happens to many going through OCD or anxiety recovery. We’re going to go over why you may feel this way and what to do with this new strange feeling and emotion.

Feeling anxious about NOT feeling anxious is a strange phenomenon that can be difficult to understand. Anxiety is an emotion that most people would prefer to avoid, but when it goes away, the relief can be short-lived, as a new anxiety begins to creep in. It's almost like a protective shield that has been guarding against danger is suddenly gone, leaving a sense of vulnerability and uncertainty.

People who have experienced anxiety for an extended period of time may become accustomed to living with this emotion as a part of their daily routine. They may have developed coping mechanisms that allow them to function despite their anxiety, and the thought of not feeling anxious can be unsettling.

Anxiety to some can feel almost comforting because it keeps them safe from acting out.

When anxiety dissipates, it can feel like the ground has been pulled out from under us, leaving us without a solid foundation. This sudden shift can trigger new anxieties and worries about the future. We may wonder if we have become complacent, or if we have missed something important. We may begin to question our ability to cope without the constant presence of anxiety in our lives.

The fear of the unknown can also contribute to anxiety about not feeling anxious. People may worry about what will happen in the future, whether anxiety will return, or whether they will be able to manage life without the constant presence of this emotion.

So what are we going to do about this new feeling? We are going to enjoy the ride. Meaning we no longer are figuring out if the anxiety means something or not. Unless you see an immediate threat we are choosing to not engage. We learn to love life without anxiety. It's actually okay for intrusive thoughts to happen even without anxiety. Seriously. Even the worst possible intrusive thoughts you can think of. It's okay. Let them happen. The problem is, our body does this quick check to see how we feel about it, and if were not freaking out then it must mean we've fully accepted a thought and are now the person we don't want to be.

Don't fall for the trap.

When anxiety happens about this you give a lot of answers such as, sure, Yep, okay, maybe maybe not, we essentially are accepting a thought as a thought. We realize that invisible shield of anxiety did nothing this whole time.
It was worthless. The more we sit with the distress of not feeling anxiety and allow the thoughts to come and go as they please, the more free we feel.

When an intrusive thought occurs, it's important to respond in a way that helps you let go of the thought and move on with your day. Here are some "I don't care" responses that you can give your brain:

"Thanks for sharing, brain, but I'm not interested in that thought right now."

"I acknowledge that this thought is present, but I choose not to engage with it."

"This thought is not helpful or productive, so I'm going to let it go and move on."

Remember that intrusive thoughts are a common experience, and it's okay to have them. By responding with self-compassion and acceptance, you can reduce their impact on your daily life

Some choose to simply do nothing with the thoughts. No response. Just keep moving forward.

What we don't want to get stuck into is justifying. I'm not feeling anxiety because I'm doing treatment for OCD. I wouldn't really do something like that. I think it's pretty impossible for me to get that kind of disease right now. The more we try to problem-solve the anxiety and thoughts, the more we get stuck in the loop of OCD.

Ultimately, freedom from OCD means that you are going to have lots of intrusive thoughts, just like everybody else and you may not feel anxious about it. Celebrate this moment. Tell yourself that you are no longer a problem solver. You are a person that lives life enjoys the moment. No more giving in to the perceived threats.

For more responses on how you can talk to your OCD, go watch this video right here. Let me know if you've experienced this before.

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