Saturday, December 20, 2008

Mind Block

I am trying to find some relief through an exercise I call "mind block." I respond to a particularly nagging anxious thought by saying to myself (or outloud) "mind block!" It seems to be working. The "toxic" thought remains in my brain, but I'm replacing it with another, hopefully stronger, one to prevent it from "getting through" and making me even more anxious. Just a little trick I'm experimenting with.

5 comments:

Mike Nichols said...

This sounds similar to a trick that I've used. I'm a very visual person, so when I have a disturbing thought, I visualize drawing a large yellow ribbon between me and the thought to put it away from me. Seems silly, but it works!

D said...

Thanks for sharing! Any particular reason why you visualize a yellow ribbon?

Anonymous said...

Ironically, the tactic of thought blocking / stopping has been known to strengthen the ruminations that you're experiencing and may actually undermine your efforts to reduce the frequency of negative thoughts. A more useful approach is to experience the thoughts, but not place a high degree of relevance onto them. Just let them pass and the frequency and intensity will decrease over time.

More information on the concept can be found here: http://books.google.com.au/books?id=rFFinoEm6jsC&pg=PA62&lpg=PA62&dq=ocd+thought+blocking&source=bl&ots=0m29Aogoub&sig=LEi4IbjU8h0UAoDsij5N80pFf-c&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=resul

D said...

Thanks for sharing. I'll keep that in mind!

D said...

Part 2: I've read some more on this and you definitely are right: "Fighting" or "attempting to block" anxiety can be counterproductive. I guess I was just trying to stop some really intrusive thoughts. Thanks for sharing!