Mind Control and Ironic Process: Take the Pressure Out!



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We are moved by the idea to make the world of work more human - without constant pressure for efficiency, stress and fear. As Publisher Best of HR - Berufebilder.de® with podcast, eLearning-on-demand offers and news service we share 15 years of experience with our customers (Samsung, Otto, state institutions). By the Top20 female blogger and consultant Simone Janson, referenced in ARD, ZEIT, Wikipedia .
Reprint: This text is from the book "Warum uns das Denken nicht in den Kopf will: Noch mehr nützliche Erkenntnisse der Alltagspsychologie (2013)""" from Dr. Volker Kitz, Prof. Dr. Manuel Tusch, published at Heyne Verlag, and was left to us for reprint.
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We should not and absolutely do not want to think about something - and that is precisely why we constantly think about it all the time. This is not only impractical when it comes to getting rid of annoying-cherished habits.

Mind Control and Ironic Process: Take the Pressure Out! ironic-processes

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Here writes for you: Dr. Volker Kitz is Spiegel bestselling author, psychologist and ex-lobbyist. Profile
Here writes for you: Dr. Manuel Tusch Professor at the Münster University of Applied Sciences and director of the IfAP. Profile

From the author:

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Bad habits

Overview

In terms of habits, it would still be harmless. For example, "Today I will not think about cigarettes all day!" Or "Today I'm not always staring at my sexy colleague." - if we do it then, the consequences are still relatively manageable.

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Anyone who suffers from sleep disorders and constantly says in bed in the evening "Now I do not think about my sleep problem, just sleep" - he will achieve exactly the opposite of it.

Mental diseases

Overview

But even the most severe psychological diseases such as depression or anxiety disorders are often tried to be treated by breaking up existing patterns of thought.

Because the more one eintrichtert the patient "think best not to XY," the more powerfully hovers this very thought in her unconscious - and at some point even more free his way into consciousness.

The ironic stranglehold

Overview

The ironic processes are thus in our ironic hand, both on a small and a large scale. Therefore, be careful when solving problems that simply "suppress" a thought or action.

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But if you want to gain more mental control, you can use the following two insights for your benefit: Firstly, the "focused distraction" helps. Define a very specific thing from the outset, which you always immediately think about when the "bad" thought comes up.

Avoid backfilling

Overview

Of course, the idea of ​​distraction should not come from the undesirable category: "Instead of black chocolate, I think of white chocolate now." It works better this way: chocolate = Eiffel Tower. This will at least avoid even heavier relapses.

On the other hand, the more capacity you have in your brain, the better your mental control. If you want to change a property, do not necessarily try it when your brain is otherwise busy.

Do not achieve the opposite

Overview

If you are particularly stressed at work, running in a marathon, or your partner or the jackhammer on the construction site next door just annoying, you risk not only that it will not work - so you would have nothing to lose.

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You risk being able to do exactly the opposite of what you want: that you end up surfing the Internet more, eating more peanut flips, getting even more upset about your sister.

Take the pressure out

Overview

"It's not a good time to start the diet right now," so it's not just an excuse. At least not always. However, if you find that there is never a good time for something that you want to achieve, it may be worthwhile to start somewhere else:

At the stress sources, which at first glance do not really have anything to do with the property you want to get rid of. So we take the pressure out: Now think again of a purple cow. All day long.

Reading tips

Overview

  • Wegner, DM, Schneider, DJ, Carter, SR, White, TL (1987): Paradoxical Effects of Thoughts Suppression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 5 - 13.
  • Wegner, DM, Ansfield, M., Pilloff, D. (1998): The Putt and the Pendulum: Ironic Effects of the Mental Control of Action. Psychological Science, 9, 196 - 199.
  • Erskine, JAK, Georgiou, G., Kvavilashvili, L. (2010): I Suppress Therefore I Smoke: The Effects of Thought Suppression on Smoking Behavior. Psychological Science, 21, 1225 - 1230.
  • Erskine, JAK (2008): Resistance Can Be Futile: Investigating Behavioral Rebound. Appetite, 50, 415 - 421.
  • Wenzlaff, RM, Wegner, DM, Roper, DW (1988): Depression and Mental Control: The Resurgence of Unwanted Negative Thoughts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55, 882 - 892.
  • Ansfield, ME, Wegner, DM, Bowser, R. (1996): Ironic Effects of Sleep Urgency. Behavior Research and Therapy, 34, 523 - 531.
  • Wegner, DM (1994): Ironic Processes of Mental Control. Psychological Review, 101, 34 - 52.

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