What is thought suppression in psychology?

What is thought suppression in psychology?

Thought suppression occurs when we try to ignore or control intrusive thoughts that we find threatening or distressing. Thought suppression can be common in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Is thought suppression possible?

Research suggests that suppressing unwanted thoughts is not possible, leads to a subsequent increase in frequency of the suppressed thoughts, and results in higher levels of distress. Because thought suppression may have negative effects, an alternative, acceptance-based approach has been proposed.

Is thought suppression effective?

Theoretically, thought suppression effort can be initially successful, but will predict greater subsequent rebound (Wenzlaff & Wegner, 2000).

How do you stop thought suppression?

Strategies for Unwanted Thoughts

  1. Choose a distractor and focus on that. If you’re given two things to think about, your concentration is fractured, and will give your brain a small break from focusing on the unwanted thought.
  2. Postpone the thought.
  3. Cut back on multitasking.
  4. Think about it.
  5. Meditation and mindfulness.

What are the consequences of thought suppression?

The ironic effect of thought suppression refers to the phenomenon in which individuals trying to rid their mind of a target thought ironically experience greater levels of occurrence and accessibility of the thought compared with individuals who deliberately concentrate on the thought (Wegner, 1994, doi:10.1037/0033- …

Why do I keep suppressing my thoughts?

Thought suppression is a psychological defence mechanism. It is a type of motivated forgetting in which an individual consciously attempts to stop thinking about a particular thought. It is often associated with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD).

What is the rebound effect of thought suppression?

The rebound effect is characterized by the higher levels of post-suppression resurgence and accessibility of the target thought experienced by individuals engaged in thought suppression relative to individuals who did not suppress the target thought in the first place.

Why thought suppression is counterproductive?

Wegner and his colleagues wrote that “the paradoxical effect of thought suppression is that it produces a preoccupation with the suppressed thought.” Wegner has often suggested that rebounds following thought suppression may contribute to obsessions, dieting failures, and difficulties stopping behaviors like smoking.

How do you push unwanted thoughts away?

  1. Label these thoughts as “intrusive thoughts.”
  2. Remind yourself that these thoughts are automatic and not up to you.
  3. Accept and allow the thoughts into your mind.
  4. Float, and practice allowing time to pass.
  5. Remember that less is more.
  6. Expect the thoughts to come back again.

How do you push your thoughts away?

Things to try instead

  1. Identify the thought.
  2. Tell yourself, “It’s just a thought.” It’s normal to experience intrusive thoughts or reminders of distressing events, but remember: These thoughts don’t have any power to harm you.
  3. Don’t try to avoid or stop the thought.
  4. Return to what you were doing.
  5. Keep practicing.

Should you suppress intrusive thoughts?

Both experience and research are in agreement that suppressed thoughts can rebound. By trying to suppress intrusive thoughts, you can actually end up thinking about it more rather than less.