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November 22, 2021

The Elephant Nobody Tells You About

You know that elephant in the room? Unwanted thoughts. A lot of us suffer from this unwarranted condition. Nobody asked for it.

But there’s this one thing I want to talk about that I couldn’t find anything on the internet. For the sake of this article, I will name them, impulsive thoughts.

By definition, someone who is impulsive is someone who acts without thinking, often times making a decision in haste. Relatively, impulsive thoughts are of the same nature. It goes without saying that when we act on impulse, we often do have some control over our decisions, but we are choosing to run with that decision (instead of thinking it through).

The same goes for “impulsive thoughts.” According to my experience, an impulsive thought is one that we think purposely (for many different reasons) in order to divert ourselves from the previous thought. We either intentionally want a change of direction or we just can’t help it.

Let’s face it, we are all dealing with something different .

When running my search across the web, all I could come across was “racing thoughts” or “intrusive thoughts.” While to an early mind, these might all appear to be the same thing; A trained mind, will tell you otherwise.

I would argue that a racing thought or intrusive thought is a type of impulsive thought. In other words, an impulsive thought has the capacity to become the former or the latter. This happens when we lose control. How do we lose control? Normally, when we have given thought X or thought Y too much power over us.

Giving up our power or making the thought habitual becomes problematic when it is a thought that we don’t want to think. In this case, it can become unwarranted, creeping it’s way into our lives in a way we can no longer control.

Of course, we can, with practice, discipline, and preseverance, if you will. But not everybody will tell you that. In fact, over and over, we are told that there is nothing we can do about it and that we should just allow our thoughts to roam free.

Philosophies like: the mind is meant to think, come to mind and we allow ourselves to be swayed into a logic that defies common sense.

Common sense dictates that we are practicing sound judgement, but if we allow these so called intrusive thoughts to roam free, then most likely our state of mind is neither sound nor judgementally free.

Most of the people tormented by this way of thinking experience shame, discomfort, or at least to some degree know that their thoughts are not i.e. sound. They wish to change this pattern and think things that actually align with what they believe in.

I think that not only do we need to assume more responsibility for our own mind, but that need to be able to decipher the difference between an impulsion and an intrusion.

Like I said, an impulsion becomes an intrusion, when the thought becomes a deeply engrained habit; But what about an impulsion?

I’m here to argue that impulsive thoughts are thoughts we purposely think, whether we want to acknowledge it or not (and overtime can possibly get a hold of us).

I think we should start by honoring our belief system, cleansing our minds (so that when we do feel the need to act on impulse, we think about butterflies instead of harm), and that we engage in activities like meditation which can strengthen our concentration muscles and help us deal with discomfort better.

Of course, this isn’t always easy and any of us might fall victim to falling off the command wagon, but perhaps, we can become conscious of the thoughts we choose to think, and also decide to be strong in the next instance, so that we can maintain good sense and act according to what we know is right.

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Shelly Lora  |  Contribution: 885