Sunday, August 14, 2016

Defeating Negative Thinking: The Trouble With Using Thought Stopping

Thought stopping is a popular technique that is used to curb negative thinking and emotion. For instance, If I tell myself to stop thinking "I really  hate going to the dentist office," I will probably feel less distressed about going to the dentist. That's because I stopped the troubling thought.  However, although this technique may help, it is not a panacea.

The trouble with thought stopping is that it does not really get rid of the trouble—we still have the upsetting thought in our head.  As long as we still believe awful thoughts about visiting the dentist, we will be in for a lot  more trouble and more thought stopping. Thought stopping only provides a temporary fix.  If we want a lasting solution, we have to replace our disturbing thoughts with better ones.  A useful technique for for doing this is called cognitive restructuring.  I will post more on cognitive restructuring.

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As a cognitive-behavioral psychologist for more than three decades now, my experience shows that with the right tools we can readily learn how to elevate and maintain emotional well-being and happiness. I invite you to discover many of the essential tools right here at the Think Right, Feel Right Blogoscope.

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