Distracting with thoughts is a bag of tricks that we keep nearby for emergency use. These are our “go to” thoughts that simply and quickly distract our mind – providing valuable time to process whatever is causing newfound stress. This may include counting to ten or reciting the Serenity Prayer.
Distracting from a distressing situation with other thoughts floods the short-term memory with alternative stimuli to distract from the painful experience you are currently in. This is especially helpful for distracting from and dealing with negative intrusive thoughts, ruminating, worry thoughts and thoughts relating to urges.
E.g. Counting or labeling things in the environment, playing A-Z animals, reading number plates as fast as you can, doing mental maths, singing a song over and over in your head.