In a previous blog post I discussed Negative Thought Patterns.  This article is a follow up explain thought stopping techniques to try if you struggle to deal with negative thoughts.

What is thought stopping? Thought stopping is a variety of techniques used to reprogram your brain from running through the same negative thought patterns.

How is it done?

One technique is to do a thought replacement. Here you take the negative thought and replace it with a positive one.  For example “I am going to have a panic attack at the work meeting” becomes “I have handled many stressful meetings and I can handle this one”.

Another technique is to either visualize a stop sign or verbally say stop when negative thought patterns begin.

A third version of this is to visualize a calming place and do breathing exercises for a few minutes until the anxiety passes.  Adding a breathing component to any of these techniques will increase its effectiveness.

With any techniques used to address anxiety you must practice them regularly in order to see results. I often see people something for a few days and then quit. Remember you have had the negative thoughts for a long time and it takes a while to change thought patterns.