- Listen to all of your thoughts for a day.
Don't try to change anything, just observe when a negative
thought comes into your mind.
- Select one really persistent thought to work on, eg., worry about
Ignore the other thoughts for awhile.
- Each time that thought comes into your mind, say to yourself,
You may have to do this 5, 10 or 20 times before the thought
- Notice what's happening when you 'push your STOP button.'
Does the thought stop or persist? Does it diminish or seem
- If thinking STOP doesn't work at first, try saying STOP out loud.
That's right, shout it out. Notice what's happening when you
say STOP out loud.
- If saying STOP out loud doesn't work at first, use hand signals
You know what that looks like. You command it to STOP like a
traffic cop does, as if to say: "I said STOP, you numbskull!!!" And
mean it just like a stern cop.
- Notice what you are thinking now, too.
Are you laughing? Are you embarrassed at talking to yourself
out loud and playing traffic cop? Yes? No? Whatever your reaction, try
to concentrate on what you're thinking as you do these exercises.
- While you are doing these exercises, notice which one works best.
Does one method work better for different types of thoughts?
Does the traffic cop work best for worrisome thoughts? Does thinking
STOP work best for what you call petty thoughts?
- Now, use all three methods and find the one that works best for
you in any and all situations.
Use these methods for 5 thought-interruptions and you will own
a new skill.
- Your mind can pay attention to one thing at a time only.
If you want to stop any disturbing thought, especially one
where you feel helpless, switch to another thought, sing a song aloud
or make up anything to otherwise occupy your mind. Laugh at the
negative thought and enjoy your win.
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