The STOP Technique
Interrupt your thoughts with the command ‘STOP!’ and pause whatever you’re doing.
TAKE A BREATH
Notice your breathing for a few moments.
Breathe in slowly through the nose, expanding the belly, and exhale slowly out of your mouth, through pursed lips.
Become the observer of your thoughts, emotions and physical reactions.
What thoughts do you notice? What emotions are present? How does your body feel?
Perhaps you can your heart rate rising, your fists clenching, your cheeks flushing?
Mindfully consider how you’d like to respond.
What’s one thing you can focus on right now?
What’s your most important and urgent priority?
"I like this and use it a lot when I’m feeling overwhelmed or my paranoia is running out of control. For me I also use the P for Perspective as I tend to get things out of all proportion."
"You can also snap a rubber band to physically enforce the STOP. When I started doing this, I was snapping that band constantly. When you notice you’re having a negative thought that’s not helping you, snap the band. Ground yourself. Drink a sip of water, imagine you’re a rooted tree, etc. Observe your thoughts. I'd say 90% of the time I’m thinking the same types of “the sky is falling” thoughts that my brain latched on to that I can just let go. Realizing that is wonderful. My brain latches on to all thoughts and weighs them all as IMPORTANT! Doing the rubber band snap brings me down fast, from my head into an action. Most of the time, I can release the thought and get back to productive things."
"I use this as well, but just saying "Stop" usually isn't enough to get me out of ruminating. So I tend to burst out in the chorus to "Let it Go" from Frozen in the loudest voice appropriate for wherever I am. It usually does the trick!"