A technique known as “thought-stopping” can help you halt negative, obsessive thoughts, says Dr. Kenneth Ruggiero, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.
The first step is to literally call a halt to this train of thought. If you’re alone, say the word “Stop!” out loud. If you’re around others, think it to yourself. Some people even find it useful to pinch themselves to disrupt those stressful thoughts, says Ruggiero.
Next, choose a positive thought on which you’ll focus instead, such as “I’ve given presentations before, and they went well” or “I know this material better than anyone in the audience.” In doing so, says Ruggiero, you swap a negative, stress-inducing thought for a positive one. Repeat this affirmation using your Zen Timepiece signaling you to repeat this thought every 30 seconds.
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