Don’t Think About A Pink Elephant: The Key To Knowing How To Stop Thinking About Something

The pink elephant exercise will show you the best method to stop thinking about something. Enter and discover the best psychological tips to let go of a thought.

Don't think about a pink elephant: The key to stopping thinking so much

There are two things we can control: our thoughts and our behavior. But sometimes, stopping thinking about something seems impossible because these thoughts become intrusive ideas that we can’t seem to control. In these cases, when there is constant worry or negative rumination, this can lead to depression or anxiety problems. So:How can we stop thinking about something ?

Don’t think about a pink elephant!

try don’t think about a pink elephant Whatever you do, don’t think about pink elephants. You’ve got it? Now think about blue monkeys, imagine blue monkeys swinging on the branches of different trees. What has happened to the pink elephants now?

This little one ‘pink elephant’ exercise It shows us knowledge about how our brain works and that trying to forcefully eliminate a thought or stop thinking about something will end up making this idea take up more space in our mind. In this way, trying to ‘not think’ about thoughts makes us think about them, in the same way that happens when someone tells you ‘don’t think about a pink elephant’.

This was proven through research carried out by Daniel Wegner, a professor at Harvard University. In his studies it was shown that when people we try not to think a thought, one part of our mind will try to avoid it while on the other hand, another will keep checking it to make sure the thought does not come back to mind. Although it is an ironic process, in the end it turns out that this contradiction ends up making it impossible for us to stop thinking about what we want to avoid.

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Why should we downplay things?

Giving too much importance to a thought can affect us in the following ways in our daily lives:

  • Social anxiety: Some people they can’t stop thinking in how they act towards others as well as in better alternatives in different social situations. When these types of thoughts arise, you can develop problems in relationships as well as, in the most extreme cases, suffer from social anxiety.
  • Depression: Yes we cant stop thinking about something negative these types of thoughts can end up causing us to have negative internal dialogue, which can favor the presence of a depressive disorder.
  • Stress: Not being able to stop thinking in our tasks can also contribute to experiencing a higher degree of stress.
  • Low self-esteem: Thinking too much about a negative idea around our actions and image can affect our self-esteem.

Why is it bad to think too much about something?

One of the keys to stop thinking about something Specifically, it is understanding how we think now, that is, detecting our way of relating to our thoughts.

“Our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are all linked, so our thoughts affect how we feel and act. So, while we all have unhelpful thoughts from time to time, it’s important to know what to do when they appear so they don’t change the mood.” course of our day”

Rachel Goldman, psychologist

When thoughts end up affecting our daily lives, it is important to go to a psychology consultation to learn how to change this pattern of behavior and stop thinking in that which is not useful or productive for our lives.

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How to stop thinking so much?

If there is a negative thought that is disturbing you too much, what you should not do is try not to think about it. The key to be able to stop thinking In this type of intrusive ideas is to try the following:

  1. Identify the reason for this thought:Ask yourself the reason why you can’t stop thinking in these types of ideas. Perhaps these types of thoughts are telling you that you need to resolve something in your life. In these cases, it is best to take the necessary measures to move towards solving this problem.
  2. Distract yourself: One of the best exercises for not think about something specific It is precisely by using distraction. In the same way that happened with the pink elephant, if we decide to think about blue monkeys, it is very likely that the image of the pink elephant will end up blurring. If you are faced with a thought that is disturbing you, it may be interesting to try doing tasks or activities to leave behind these ideas that are overwhelming you.
  3. Think about the thought: In the same way that happens when we try not to think about the thought, if we try to think about that thought and rationalize about this idea, it is possible that it takes away its power and importance. Therefore, instead of repetitively trying to avoid a particular thought, try scheduling a time each day to try to think through this thought that is troubling you. In fact, it can be useful to put it in writing or talk about it with a trusted person.
  4. Challenge your thoughts: When you can’t stop thinking about something, ask yourself if this thought is meaningful, valid, true and/or necessary. If you think that these types of thoughts are not useful for your life, replace them with more useful ones.
  5. Change your thinking: If you are one of those who think in images, a good way to downplay these thoughts is to mentally change that image. For example, making the thought image ridiculous can help you reduce the relevance of this image to you.
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Always keep in mind that thoughts are just thoughts. That is, you can stop thinking about something since these ideas can change and disappear. What you do with your thoughts will affect the way you perceive and live your life. Therefore, it is important that they do not dominate you.