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How Can You Get Rid of Anxious Thoughts That Won’t Seem to Go Away?

What It’s Like To Get Stuck in Your Thoughts

If you have anxiety, whether it’s diagnosed as GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) or otherwise, you know that it typically comes with uncontrollably thinking. Anxious thoughts that spiral through your head are one of the main components of anxiety; and if you know what we’re talking about, you could probably use some relief.

Several types of therapies have been designed to help you understand the anxious thoughts that are pulling you down and let them go. A few kinds of psychotherapies, specifically, will help you get to the root of your thoughts and accept them to move on & establish your own positive thinking patterns.

What Is Defusion?

Defusion is a practice within ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) that helps us become more aware of our thoughts as thoughts instead of facts. It strives to help us change the way we interact with our own beliefs, therefore easing our anxieties. But this is only possible if we are able to become less committed and less fused to our thoughts.

How Can You Defuse Your Thoughts?

Defusion techniques, usually taught by a psychotherapist, are meant to practice on your own when your thoughts get the best of you. Try any of the defusion exercises below (or a different one) repeatedly over the span of a few days. If it doesn’t work, try another.

Each technique has its own purpose and experience, so not all of them will be right for you. Keep experimenting with different exercises and combinations until you find the perfect defusion practices for you.

Practicing At Home: 7 Defusion Exercises

Here are some simple ways to defuse your thoughts. Some are tried-and-true techniques, while others are tiny daily practices that can change the way you think.

  1. Disobey Your Mind. Say “I’m not walking,” while walking or do something similar to show yourself that your mind doesn’t have power over you.
  2. Name Your Brain. Give your brain a name. Think of it as something separate from yourself so you don’t become too attached to your thoughts.
  3. Welcome Guests. Create a character for each anxious thought you have. This will help you see the thoughts as something that isn’t attached to you.
  4. Carry Thoughts Along. Assign your most common anxious thoughts to a key on your keychain, a tube of lipstick, etc. Only think about them when you hold their corresponding item. When you put the item away, put the thought away.
  5. Leaf In A Stream. Picture a running stream. Each anxious thought is a leaf in that stream. As the stream moves and the leaves float away, so should the thoughts.
  6. Sing It Out. If you sing about your anxious thoughts or say them out loud in a funny voice, it might help you take them less seriously when they’re overwhelming you.
  7. Beat The Bully. All bullies have a reason for being mean to you; it’s the same with your brain. Picture your mind as a bully and assert yourself against it.

Any of these exercises can seem difficult or maybe even a little silly at first, but practicing them regularly should help you understand and regulate your anxious thoughts. 

Maintaining Your Mental Wellness

Practicing defusion techniques is a great way to maintain and ease anxiety, but it should also be paired with other forms of treatment. Continue mindfulness in other ways, meditate, enjoy physical exercise, keep attending therapy sessions, and do whatever else it takes to help you achieve a happy and healthy state of being.

Want to learn more about how to defuse your anxious thoughts? Contact our mental health professionals by visiting us here or calling 844-237-5762.