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Thought Diffusion Techniques

Hi guys.

Has anyone heard of ACT and thought diffusion techniques?  I got introduced to them from a therapist who referred me to a book "The Happiness Trap".

I was struggling with a bombardment of negative self talk on a daily basis so thought i'd give them a go and have found them really helpful.


The idea is to recognise when a thought is negative (unhelpful), and instead of trying NOT to think it, see it for what it is....just a thought....just a bunch of words put together in the mind, accept it and practice ways of taking that thought less seriously.


Examples of negative (unhelpful) thoughts:

* "I'm a loser.  I won't amount to anything"

* "I have let people down"

* "What's the point.  This is a waste of time"

* Etc. Etc. Etc


Thought Diffusion Techniques


1.  When an unhelpful thought comes up, put the words "I'm having the thought that..." in front of it.

Eg.  "I'm having the thought that I'm a loser", "I'm having the thought that no one loves me", " I'm having the thought that this is a waste of time", etc etc etc.


2.  Sing the thought to the tune of a song (Jingle Bells, Happy Birthday, Mary had a Little Lamb, etc.)


3. Put a celebrity, cartoon or funny voice to the thought and Imagine them saying it. (I've been using Yoda and Porky Pig)

Eg.  (Yoda) "loser, i am", (Porky Pig) " Yibbida yibbida, I'm a fraud!" Whatever the thought is.


I end up laughing or smiling doing this.  The goal is not to make light of my circumstances but to stop allowing any unhelpful thoughts to rule behaviour.  This is when positive thinking (which works for me sometimes) or avoidance of thinking the negative thought completely (not effective for me in rough times) doesn't work.  I'm able to better get on with my day even while these thoughts are happening.


4.  Treat it as a story.  Say "Thanks mind!  It's the "i'm a loser story", or the old, "i'm unlovable" story....thanks mind!


Just thought i'd share for anyone interested or who may benefit and also love to hear about anyones experience with Thought Diffusion and/or ACT. 


Re: Thought Diffusion Techniques

Re: Thought Diffusion Techniques

We do a lot of the same technique in DBT @Zaphod It really doe help but also takes practice - hope it continues to help you.Smiley Very Happy

Re: Thought Diffusion Techniques

I found this to be really helpful. Nice to meet you by the way @Zaphod.

This is one perspective which may help stop living within yourself with just thoughts. 



Re: Thought Diffusion Techniques

@Zaphod when you're dealing with problems of the mind, psychology and psychiatry... i really don't think there is a final answer...

Re: Thought Diffusion Techniques

@Zaphod evidently, with the creation of problems-came the creation of solutions...

Re: Thought Diffusion Techniques

found this to be really helpful. @Zaphod Heart

Hello @Everan, @eudemonism, @Zoe7

Re: Thought Diffusion Techniques

However @Shaz51 often I'm feeling very helpless against my problems...

Re: Thought Diffusion Techniques

yes sometimes we do @eudemonism , always finding what is helpful for us might not be helpful for others

please share when you feel @eudemonism, we are here for you as you have helped me with my mr shaz

Re: Thought Diffusion Techniques

Hi @Zoe7.  Thanks. DBT sounds interesting.  You're right i'm finding it does take practice.

Nice to meet you too, @Everan.  Glad you found it helpful.  

Thanks @eudemonism.  Sorry to hear you're feeling helpless.  I agree there's no final or silver bullet answer out there (not for me anyway) and what works for some may not for others.  "evidently with the creation of problems came the creation of solutions". Haha.  I like it.  Cheers for that.

Hey @Shaz51.  Glad you found it helpful.  This is another tool I'm putting in the  Mental Health Toolkit!

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