We need the skills that help put the brakes on unhelpful thinking, at least for a moment. This gives you the opportunity to then challenge unhelpful thoughts or beliefs and then change them.
Some thought stopping skills:
Deep Breathing 7/11
A simple but powerful technique that is easy to learn. It has immediate beneficial effect.
From deep in the pit of the stomach breathe in for 7 seconds and then breathe out for 11 seconds. Do this 5, 6, 7 times and see the reaction. The reason for making the out breath longer is that inhaling triggers one part of our nervous system that creates arousal and exhaling stimulates a relaxation response. By breathing out more than breathing in you trigger the relaxation response over the arousal response.
This is a simple technique from Yoga. It works on a simple principle. If you tense muscles and then relax them, they are always more relaxed after you have just tensed them.
First, make your hands into tight fists... as tight as possible. Notice the tension in the muscles of the fingers. Become aware of the hardness of your fingernails in the palm of your hands. Notice the skin stretched across the knuckles and how your wrists have become rigid. Hold this for several seconds.
Now, begin to relax your hands. When you do... really concentrate on the change between tension and relaxation. When you are really concentrating, relax those hands and fingers. The relaxed feeling is now going up your arms to your shoulders. In a few minutes it will spread to your whole body. You don’t have to say anything or do anything. Let the relaxation flow.
Affirmations of power
We can help make associations work for us. We can learn to associate a phrase we say to ourselves with a signal to think things through.
I can think this through. I can get my mind working for me here. Write others that work for you.
Picture in your mind a relaxing, calming place and go there in your mind for a moment.