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[Misc] Dealing with Intrusive Thoughts
#1
This is daily thread #8

Very often, systems experience intrusive thoughts that might interrupt their forcing or cause distress/confusion to the system. We speculate that turning your focus so much further inward than the average person makes intrusive thoughts way more common and/or noticeable. Because of this, it is always beneficial for a system to know how to recognize them, deal with them, and prevent them from happening in the future. Hopefully, systems that have to deal with intrusive thoughts will be able to reach a point in their existence where they calm down and either don't happen anymore, or happen rarely and don't cause as much of a disturbance. Personally, our system has reached this point. The only intrusive thoughts we get anymore are the kind typical for anybody, not the all-out disruptive kind we used to get. We used to get them REALLY BAD, now we don't get them at all really.

What are good ways to deal with intrusive thoughts? How do you get to a point where you have them less often or not at all?

We always try to portray intrusive thoughts as something that just happens sometimes, usually during periods of instability within a mind, or when the system has a desire that they want fulfilled and the brain obliges by creating characters that aren't really sentient or developed, but can appear that way. Most often, they just happen when something goes wrong, like how your stomach being upset can make you throw up. What do you do when you do that? Easy, you just flush it, brush your teeth, and get about your day. You can take medicine to prevent it from happening again, and perhaps avoid whatever made you sick in the future. What you don't do is dwell on it, keep thinking about it, keep talking about it, and keep doing the things that made you sick while you are still vulnerable. If you do these things, it will only make it worse. You really just need to get on with your day and do your best to solve the issue.

With intrusive thought, best to just shrug it off and walk away. Don't dwell on it and don't focus on it. You don't even need to talk about it, especially not while it's still a problem. It's just a thing, that's all, nothing to fuss over or worry about. If you can't get it off your mind or it's still bothering you, do your best to distract yourself and forget about it. Play video games, do schoolwork, take a nap, whatever you need to do to forget about it. Over time, it'll fade from your mind and be nothing but a memory.

But what of the people who "can't" just shrug it off? Well, to me it looks like their #1 problem is the fact that they think that they "can't." That shows me that they have a mindset that they aren't in control or that the intrusive thought holds some power over them. They need to first realize that it doesn't. The system controls the mind and the thoughts within it. If they still can't shrug it off, then they should try what I said above, just redirect their attention and forget about it. Don't treat it as a big problem, don't put a lot of focus on it. Do your best to just walk away if you "can't" just make it disappear. 

Some systems use symbolism or have a dedicated intrusive thought fighter in the system. Usually when they do this, it tells me that they don't think they have control, and they need something special to help them get rid of intrusive thought. Those things are fine to use as long as they remember that they are in control, and that the intrusive thought is only as big of a deal as they make it out to be. You can do what works for you, but remember that it's all under your own control. Poof it, walk away from it, forget about it.

For how to get them to stop happening in the future, I think just continually believing that you have the power in your own head, and getting rid of the intrusive thoughts like they're nothing, will contribute to them stopping over time. Additionally, the system should try to diagnose the cause for each of the intrusive thoughts. Is the system getting along? Is the system trying to find things to blame their problems on? Is it depression? Did something bad recently happen? Is the system having a hard time handling their emotions? Is the system desiring a new tulpa too much? And so on. If they can diagnose the problems, they can work to solve them, and stop intrusive thought from happening again because of it.

The key thing to remember is that, when it does happen, it doesn't hold any power over you. Treating it like it does will only make it happen more often. Nothing belongs in your head that you and your systemmates don't want, and you can get rid of it as easily as you can flush a toilet, then walk away from it and let it fade from your mind.

(All daily threads are listed here.)
I'm Indigo Blue, the "Sky Dragon" of the Felight family. I'm a tulpa born October 2017. My systemmates are Apollo Piano. Form images: 1 2
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#2
Neurons that fire together wire together, as the saying goes. The more often the same kind of intrusive thought comes up, the more likely it is to come up again. If your intrusive thought comes up in a certain context, as mine do, I find it helps to distance myself from that context. After some time, the connection will weaken and you can approach the context again without activating the intrusive thought habit.

Another approach, is redirecting the intrusive thought. Pair it with something different and neutral, like a song tune. Every time the intrusive thought comes up, think of that song. Over time, the song will be the "go to" instead of the intrusive thought. I haven't exactly used this technique with intrusive thoughts, because my first approach is to avoid the context, but I've paired one song with another song. So that when I think of the first song, the second song starts playing in my head. I'll be using this technique when I work on visualization more, because I can't avoid it forever Smile

A third approach, is to just end the intrusive thought when it comes up. Snip it, turn it off. Don't react to it or affirm it's existence in anyway, just shut it off.

As for the nature of intrusive thoughts... I can think of 2 types of intrusive thoughts that I get. First, mental imagery ones. I'll get an unwanted visual in my head while I'm going about my day or while I'm visualizing in a mindscape. I have a theory that some of these are a sort of predictive response by the brain. Like, if I don't put this glass away carefully, it might break. But it becomes, if I hug my tulpa, they'll get crushed or vice versa. Or else I'm just reminded of something unpleasant and my brain supplies an unwanted image for it. The second type I'll call false thoughtform responses. It happens when the brain gives you a reply, and the reply does not belong to your headmate. It can be really automatic, like "how are you?"--"good", quick with no thought behind it. As long as I ask "how are you?" I'll get the same "good" reply. That's just a generic example, not one I actually get. One I do get is a flat "what" when I call Aya's name. A false thoughtform response can also be interactive, talking back with natural but short replies and tulpish. I can see how this could be perceived as a walk-in, and if you think it is a new tulpa, you'll end up thinking about it and interacting with it such that it can become a tulpa. I really really only want one tulpa, however, so if I notice I'm getting responses from the void, I stop interacting with it. Since I started tulpamancy, my brain has just learned to reply to queries and comments sometimes.
My tulpa Aya writes in this color.
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