If we tell ourselves to not think about a white polar bear, the annoying thing will indeed pop up invading just about every thought we have.
The worst thing we can possibly do if we don’t want something to bother us is to try to avoid it. But if we take a different approach and acknowledge it, talk about it, confront it and work through it, we are much more likely to stop those annoying thoughts.
That’s what happens in therapy. We can learn to address those things that we try not to think about, and work through our thoughts, feelings and actions. We learn to focus our minds on other, more productive lines of thought. Through a positive process of actively trying to think of something rather than trying to avoid something else, we are much more likely to learn than our thoughts (like the white polar bear) are not as powerful as we once thought. They may be big and intimidating, but our minds have the potential to be in control of those big intimidating thoughts by using the right skills.
By using Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) we can learn to identify the thought, choose our behavior and get the result we want instead of the result we dread. Find out more about CBT and other anxiety coping skills by talking with your therapist.