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Yes, I agree! Context is necessary to understand what strategies will be effective for you to overcome such thoughts / behaviors.

What you say about how trying to block bad thoughts can exacerbate the thoughts instead reminds me of the difficulties people have when beginning meditation. People are often frustrated or think they’re bad at meditation because they can’t block all of the thoughts in their head. But it’s not about “blocking” thoughts like you would hit a baseball away with a baseball bat. It’s about letting thoughts pass through you and then dropping them.

It’s easier to start by modulating your reaction to negative thoughts, rather than attempting to destroy the thoughts themselves. Once you change your reaction, it’ll be much more natural to then stop the thoughts. I think this may be why Buddha lists replacing the distracting thoughts as the first technique and forgetting the distracting thoughts as the third technique.

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