Why it’s so hard to stop obsessing about things — and what to do about it

Try not to think about your hands. Now enjoy a few minutes of not being able to stop thinking about them.

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  • The "white bear problem" describes that situation in which we can't stop thinking about something no matter how hard we try.
  • Your mental process at such times pits two parts of your brain against each other.
  • Research support a few ways to exit this maddening hamster wheel.
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