Thought Suppression: Why “Don’t Think About It” Doesn’t Work
Thought suppression is the act of trying to ignore or prevent thoughts from entering one’s mind. Thought suppression may be deliberate such as trying not to think about a problem, or it may be unintentional such as when one is sleeping and does not notice intrusive thoughts. Thought suppression is often used for coping with troubling thoughts, but it can also have negative effects.
Thought suppression often fails because thoughts tend to return in the absence of suppression. This is because thoughts are shaped by one’s experiences and thoughts that are frequently ignored or suppressed tend to become more negative and worrisome. When thoughts are not allowed to be processed or responded to, they can become more intense and bothersome. Thought suppression also creates a sense of helplessness as it becomes difficult to identify and address thoughts that are troubling.
Thought suppression is often used to manage difficult thoughts, but it can also have negative effects. Thought suppression can be difficult to manage and can have negative consequences. Thought suppression also creates a sense of helplessness as it becomes difficult to identify and address thoughts that are troubling. Additionally, thought suppression can lead to negative self-talk, which can further increase the difficulty of coping with thoughts.
There are several ways to manage thoughts and feelings. One approach is to identify thoughts and feelings and then acknowledge and accept them. Another approach is to focus on positive thoughts and goals. Thought suppression is not the only strategy that can be used to manage thoughts and feelings; it is simply one option. It is important to find an approach that works best for you and that allows you to process thoughts and feelings in a healthy way.