As I have mentioned in my last post that by suppressing negative or unwanted thoughts would not make them go away, but instead it only makes them come back to haunt you even stronger.
So what can we do to push out those indelible unpleasant thoughts like work problems, financial worries, or embarrassing moments from our mind?
As suggested by the late social psychologist Daniel Wegner, these are the twelve ways which can help you to avoid unwanted thoughts:
– focused distraction
– stress and load avoidance
– thought postponement
– exposure and paradoxical approaches
– acceptance and commitment
– focused breathing
– attention training
– disclosure and writing
In fact, many of Wegner’s strategies as mentioned above, we should think about and accept unwanted thoughts, rather than suppressing them.
Personally I have tried out these four ways and they work pretty well for me.
1. Paradoxical Therapy
This method is really paradoxical and it is based on the behavior therapy called exposure therapy. This technique is popularly used to treat people who are suffering from specific phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
What it does is to exposure someone to the feared object or context, to help him or her face and gain control of the fear and distress.
So, instead of trying to forget or suppress those unpleasant thoughts from your mind, you purposely focus hard on them. Gradually, it desensitizes to those thoughts which you want to push them from your mind.
2. Focused Distraction
For this strategy, you try to divert your attention away from those stubborn thoughts. Basically it is by thinking of something else to distract away your intrusive negative thought.
What I do is I pick just one remarkable or fascinating thing and focus on it. It could be one of my favorite song, my happy childhood days or a romantic movie.
3. Acceptance And Commitment
Similar to paradoxical therapy method. What we need to do is you readily accept it and do not to put up a fight. Let it come to your mind and accept it calmly.
Somehow gradually the repetitive thought will ignore you alone with a piece of mind.
By meditating, you strengthen your mental control. It is a powerful and effective to distract and divert your insistent negative thoughts from bugging you.
Well, you may not agree with my suggestions above. As I have said, I just hold up the lamp to shed light on how you can stop unpleasant or negative thoughts in your mind.
It’s still up to you to decide how you want to deal with it.