An intrusive thought that comes from within your mind. While usually, our mind works with information from our Indriyas or sense organs, intrusive thoughts do not come from the outside world (sense organs). They are generated from within.
Imagine you are going about your business and a random thought pops up, (it is usually negative in nature). This is an intrusive thought.
An intrusive thought comes from a samskara. These are subconscious balls of energy that echo in our minds because we hold on to experiences from the past. If you observe an intrusive thought and study its nature, you will realize that it is not random. It comes from within our mind.
While in some cases, like in OPCD, people will have random intrusive thoughts that are not based on their past experiences. for 90% of people, intrusive thoughts come from within our minds.
An intrusive thought is an echo of a really powerful thought that you used to have. At some point, you probably had a really powerful thought that had a lot of energy. This energy is still echoing in your mind.
We can deal with intrusive thoughts in the same way that you deal with a room that has an echoing sound. You open the door and let that energy dissipate.
We can let that emotional energy of that samskara dissipate by taking ourselves back to that point and processing those emotions. You don’t have to do anything — you just have to sit with the door open. But when we wall off that emotion with humor and other coping mechanisms. As a result, it can never get out, and it always stays there. Therefore, to get rid of it, you have to go back and process it.
If you pass gas, then that is going to be in your room. How do you get rid of it? You open the door.
You can do the processing with a therapist, a coach, through meditation, taking walks, etc. Just let yourself feel those things and let them out. Often times crying and laughing are good ways to let things out.
We instinctively know these things. When someone is crying, we tell them to “let it out”. But that means feeling that emotion intensely for that amount of time. What keeps us from digesting intrusive thoughts is that we wall off the origin of these thoughts.
The echo is so painful that the core of that energy inside can feel really overwhelming to deal with. We think that if the echo is so damaging, then the source would be even worse to deal with. It must be really traumatic.
Therefore, we must process them little by little, and with the guidance of a therapist, or a coach. Otherwise, it can be really overwhelming and hard to do on your own.