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Psychological Techniques to Effectively Manage Distressing automatic Thoughts

Thought defusion involves seeing thoughts as passing mental events rather than reflections of reality. This allows observing thoughts without getting caught up in them or defining oneself by them. Popular psychologist Sam Frerer recently discussed thought defusion strategies.

One technique is labeling thoughts to understand their origin rather than accepting them at face value. Another involves visualizing thoughts as distinct from oneself to prevent over-identifying with them. People can also change the inner voice describing a thought to an outside narrator for detachment. Writing or typing troublesome thoughts on paper/screen and removing them helps implement physical distancing.

Together, these approaches teach dissociating from distressing automatic thoughts and watching them transiently before consciously responding. When anxiously thinking “I’m a failure”, defusion lets one observe “I’m having the thought that I’m a failure” instead of believing it absolutely. This reduces thoughts’ impact and influence over mood and behavior.

CONCLUSION: Thought defusion offers a evidence-based way to decrease distress by creating perspective on unhelpful mental events and detachment from their literal meaning. With practice, it can help keep difficult thoughts in perspective.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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