Don’t Think Of A Pink Elephant

don't think of a pink elephant
Don’t think of a pink elephant

It’s an odd thing when somebody is worrying, at least one person will say to them “Don’t worry about that any more” and it doesn’t seem to help at all.

If I (or anyone else) tell you “Don’t think of a Pink Elephant“, what was the first think to jump in to your head? That’s right A Pink Elephant. So why is that?

You can’t NOT think about something because in order to NOT think about it you first have to think about it. There’s an odd sort of logic there but it’s definitely there.

So how can we help if we can’t tell them to not do something?

Well we could simply say “Stop thinking of that pink elephant Now” at least that implies that this is the last time we have to think about it. It’s a positive instruction so at least it can be done.

We could more successfully say “Think about a Purple Rhinoceros”, then there is a positive direction to start thinking in and there’s not a pink elephant in sight or in mind. It could be seen as distraction and they may return to their original thought eventually but if you make the purple rhinoceros in to something that might positively help then that can only be a good thing.

And remember it’s something that we can do for ourselves.

I know that this is slightly light hearted but if you are worrying about something and you are not reaching a resolution then the best way to deal with it is to start thinking about something else. It has to be something compelling otherwise you could get bored and go back to the pink elephant simply because it’s a bad habit.

 

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