The more I got into mindfulness, the more I started to really notice the effect of one of its main concepts: the less you engage with intrusive thoughts, the less they will show up in the future.
At times it can be very tempting to engage with intrusive thoughts to “clear them up” or to “close the loop”; we may often want to let the intrusive thought take a seat and let them say what they want to say. Perhaps this technique may work when it comes to a single thought, but ultimately, it’s training the brain to create more of these thoughts, since they’ll be engaged with every single time.
With time and some practice, I have noticed that the best, at least for me, is to just not engage with this kind of thoughts. When you don’t engage, you’re telling your brain that those thoughts are useless and serve no purpose whatsoever, and with time, it’ll create them less and less often.
Remember: intrusive thoughts offer a distorted view of reality, so there really is no reason to engage with them.