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  • Writer's picturejanezhudovernik

How aware are you of your negative thoughts?

Negative thoughts are a natural part of life and we still don't know very well where they come from. The key is not to force ourselves to stop thinking negative thoughts, but to learn how to manage them effectively. We have the power to control them and prevent them from causing stress. The first step is to be aware of them and analyse whether the thought is positive and supportive or negative and limiting. Then we can decide to respond in a more positive and productive way. But how?

Take a double step back

When you catch yourself thinking negatively, take a double step back. An effective and simple three-step mental technique goes like this:

1) Stop. When you catch yourself thinking something negative, say STOP to yourself (silently or out loud); you will see that the thoughts stop for a moment.

2) Then say to yourself "I have a thought" or "I had a thought that ... (insert your description)".

3) In the third step, distance yourself further from the thought by saying "I noticed that I had a thought that, ...".

In three mental steps you have distanced yourself from the negative thought and greatly reduced its power over you. The technique works every time you use it.

Want more techniques like this that you can use in real time? The book Performing Under Pressure offers 52. Check it out:

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