Beyond Irrational Thoughts: What Causes Them?

Updated September 04, 2018


As the term suggests, irrational thoughts are unrealistic and generally negative thinking. While anyone can experience this way of thinking during certain stressful times, there are specific irrational thoughts that need to be monitored and diminished if possible. As was listed by the It's Just a Feeling blog, irrational thoughts can pose as a concerning sign if:

  • You are harming yourself or others in some way
  • You are thinking of others being ill, in an accident, harmed, or dying
  • You are in alarming financial hardship
  • You are worried that no one likes you and that you will always be alone

If you or someone you know is having these thoughts, intervening may be necessary. However, before you seek treatment or medical attention, it would be wise to know what can cause irrational thoughts in the first place. Knowing what causes the problem will help determine how to prevent it or cope with it in the future.

What Can Cause Irrational Thoughts?

You are more likely to produce irrational thoughts when you are in serious emotional disarray. During these times, you are mainly concerned with yourself as you are trying to free yourself from your self-made cloud of negativity.


What should be understood about these thoughts is that since they emerge during moments of emotional stress, these thoughts were born from the wildness of your emotions, rather than logic which your other thoughts are based off of. Hence, the irrationality.

The Dangers Of Raging Irrational Thoughts

The beginning effects of uncontrollable irrational thoughts can be as minor as being wary when someone is looking in your direction or misunderstanding what people say to or about you.


However, if not properly maintained, negative emotions can affect the mind greatly and can influence your behavior and permanently damage the brain. Some may develop paranoia, extreme nervousness, schizophrenia, and phobias.

Stopping Irrational Thoughts

There are a few options in regards to derailing unwanted and hurtful thoughts. One such option is just to find a safe place away from others and let your mind wander. Get all those negative thoughts out there so that when you are around others or are in a stressful situation, you are not so bothered by irrational thought and are able to think clearly.


Another option is simply thinking positively. You have more control over your thoughts than you think. If you focus more on the positives of your life, the irrational thought that happens to pop up in your head will not have as much power as they would if you were completely negative.

Finally, it might suit you to listen to others who may hold a different perspective or a fresher view. You may choose to speak with friends, family, or acquaintances. You can even choose to speak with a therapist at BetterHelp. Whoever you decide to confide in, getting another's opinion will draw light on your irrational thoughts and allow you to be more realistic.

Previous Article

I Feel Empty: When A Lack Of Meaning Is Something More Serious

Next Article

I Need to Vent: Where To Turn
For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns
Speak with a Licensed Counselor Today
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.