Excerpted from "A Year of Health Hints"
365 Practical Ways to Feel Better and Live Longer
When nagging thoughts or worries stand in the way of feeling
good, a technique called thought stopping is an effective way to
eradicate them. The trick is to recognize negative thoughts, then
reduce their impact.
Here's an example: You're so distressed by a petty remark a
coworker makes, you can't concentrate on anything else, and you
dwell on it for hours. Here's what to do.
1. Isolate the stressful thought.
2. Close your eyes and focus on it briefly.
3. Count to three.
4. Shout "Stop!" (Or, if others are in
earshot, imagine a stop sign, a flashing red light, or the word
"stop" in bold letters.)
5. If the thought's still present, repeat steps
3 to 5.
6. Resume normal activity, feeling better.
You can use this technique anytime you find yourself obsessed
with negative thoughts. (If work problems dominate your thoughts,
substitute an "off duty" sign for the stop sign in the
exercise described above.)