BLUF

You can live a more fulfilling life by creating your own mental ‘antivirus software’ by treating your thoughts like internet pop-up ads.

Summary

Clinical psychologist Marina Harris believes people with anxiety would benefit from viewing their negative thoughts as internet pop-up ads. Harris says too many people are spending too much mental energy fighting their thoughts. The more you try to struggle with them, the more they keep coming back. Harris says cognitive defusion is an effective strategy to help you live your life, even when you experience frustrating and distressing thoughts. She says people should take their thoughts for what they are—thoughts only—and by not assigning extra meaning to them, you can begin to let go of the stories you’ve been telling yourself. Harris says the more you struggle with your thoughts, the more mental energy you’ll use fighting them, and the more they’ll keep coming back. Harris argues that the sooner you stop interacting with that negative thoughts, the sooner you’ll let go of them.