Thought suppression is a commonly used strategy. People often try to block out or put the lid on unwanted thoughts and feelings in order to limit the influence those thoughts have on their behaviour. But thought suppression is very difficult, only briefly works, and can have unintended consequences. Suppressing your thoughts can backfire, increasing the frequency of thoughts you were trying to get rid of in the first place.

Heidi Grant Halvorson suggests the two best ways to successfully deal with unwanted thoughts in ways that don’t end up diminishing your willpower:

1.)  Don’t suppress, REPLACE

2.)  Don’t suppress, PLAN

Sometimes, it is not a good idea to suppress your thoughts and feelings. It may work well for you for the time being, but they are bound to resurface some time.

Heidi Grant Halvorson Ph.D.

Riya Jadhav



IRIANS – The Neuroscience Institute 

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