Thought Defusion: 4 ways to detach ourselves from distressing thoughts; psychologist explains | Health

Distressing thoughts can cloud the mind at any time of the day. Especially when we have stress and anxiety issues, having uncomfortable thoughts is normal. Navigating through them and finding a healthy balance to address difficult emotions can be challenging in such cases. “Thought defusion, a key element of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), involves creating distance between oneself and one’s thoughts, thereby reducing their impact and influence. This technique is grounded in the understanding that thoughts are merely mental events that do not necessarily reflect reality or dictate our actions. By learning to see thoughts as transient and separate from oneself, individuals can observe them without getting entangled or overly identified with them,” wrote Psychologist Sam Frerer.

Thought Defusion is the process where we learn to dissociate from our thoughts and watch them and take time to respond to it.(Unsplash)

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Thought Defusion is the process where we learn to dissociate from our thoughts and watch them and take time to respond to it. Here are four ways:

Labeling thoughts: Learning to label the thoughts and delving deep into them to understand their origin helps us to know that they are not facts, afterall. This helps us to know that they are just thoughts and are transient in nature.

Visualising thoughts: one of the basic mistakes we make in case of distressing thoughts is thinking that we are what our thoughts are – the truth is we need to visualise them as something distinct from us and view them as separate entities.

Changing the voice of the thoughts: We need to change the inner voice that states the thoughts to us. When we associate the thoughts as told by a fictional character, we learn to dissociate them from ourselves in a healthier way.

Physical distancing techniques: We need to learn the physical distancing techniques of dealing with distressing thoughts. We can write them on a piece of paper and put it away or type them in a document and close the file. This helps us to let things go faster.

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