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Calming Your Mind

Thought stopping.

This tactic has been around for a long time, and that’s because it can be very effective.  The idea is that when you discover your mind needlessly dwelling on something stressful you do something (such as snap a rubber band on your wrist) that breaks the train of thought and gives you a window of opportunity to shift your mental focus to something else.  It is important to prepare for this so that you know where to send your mind when the time comes.

A-B-C (sometimes called 1-2-3, RET, or REBT). 

This is a process that may take some time to work through.  It relies on the concept that thoughts create emotions, and that behind the thoughts are ingrained ideas that ultimately relate to how you see yourself.  Hearing someone call your name in a certain tone of voice can trigger defensiveness and fear, which may come from an ingrained idea (“cognition”) learned in childhood that “I’m always the one that gets blamed, that gets in trouble!”  Understanding this concept can allow you to replace it with a new idea (“I really don’t cause or get into trouble”) as each situation arises.  Over time, the triggering idea gets dampened out and replaced by a more realistic and truthful one.

Mindfulness. 

Disciplining yourself to focus your mind on something in the immediate environment and “be present” with it.  Watching with keen deliberateness how an ant does its work is an example of this.