Making difficult Thoughts Less Sticky

The five techniques described in this short piece loosen the grip that sticky thoughts have on us. The TED talk on that same page about developing psychological flexibility is really good as well.

The short-hand for these practices is “thought defusion” and in short they are:

  1. disobeying thoughts to dispel their power;
  2. giving your narrating/judging mind a name and talking to it like it’s another person;
  3. thanking your mind for trying to help and letting it know when you’ve heard enough;
  4. singing the contents of the sticky thought;
  5. writing the thought down and carrying it with you on a small piece of paper as if it were treasure.

Our sticky thoughts often get to run the show because we take their reality for granted; they are the air we breathe. By engaging with our thoughts playfully, these exercises undermine the power of our habitual thinking and free us up for walking down new paths, in our minds and in our lives.