Anxiety has a way of putting us in a bad mood when we have too many negative thoughts one after another. We are taught in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) that we can replace our negative self-talk with positive thoughts. Once you become aware of your thinking, you can stop your negative thoughts from taking over your mind and replace those thoughts with more friendly ones.

Thought Stopping Defined

Thought stopping is all about being aware of your thinking and stopping negative thoughts as soon as they surface. There are ways you can do this, like yelling “Stop!” whenever a negative thought comes to you or snapping an elastic band on your wrist. These techniques bring other senses into focus.

However, doing nothing while these thoughts stop can easily make them come back to you. You need to replace the negative thoughts with positive affirmations or a positive memory.

How Thought Stopping Works

We have more control of our thoughts than we give ourselves credit for. Knowing you have power over your thoughts can encourage you to change them to better help yourself.

When you have anxiety, negative thoughts tend to come into focus more naturally. If we let the train of negative thoughts keep circling through our minds, we will be easily consumed by them. Once we recognize these patterns or specific thoughts that lead to our anxiety, we can remind ourselves these thoughts will pass.

Best Thought Stopping Practices

Journaling is one way you can process your thoughts. It is an excellent way to analyze what you have on paper by asking when a thought occurred, what led to the thought, and what happens to you when these thoughts occur.

Next, develop a plan of action for improving them. For example, if these negative thoughts come from hanging out with certain people, see if you can have a chat with them about what is bothering you and possible solutions.

Guided meditation can also help these negative thoughts pass. When you focus only on the present moment and not the intruding thoughts bringing you down, you can find serenity. The act of being aware of these thoughts removes the power they have.

After all, we have millions of thoughts every day. If we spend too much time focusing on the negative thoughts, we neglect the positive thoughts trying to make their way into our consciousness. Using thought stopping practices can help replace negative thoughts and turn them into positive ones.

Anxiety tends to make us focus on negative thoughts so much that we forget about the positive ones. This pattern of thinking can affect your mood poorly if left untreated. Using thought stopping techniques helps us transform negative thoughts into positive ones. At Alta Loma, we understand that negative thoughts can have negative consequences for our mental health. Our transformative treatment center in Georgetown, Texas, can provide you with individualized therapy, life and coping skills education, community support groups, a supportive living environment, and more. Call (866) 457-3843 for more information about our services.