Stop Negative Thoughts

To stop negative thought, focus on the thought, and say Stop to end the thought. At first, you will need to Stop! Out loud. Then you will learn to say it in your mind so that you can use this technique anywhere.

Saying things out loud improves your visual memory and the ability to see images in your mind. This is why this technique works so well. You are much more likely to remember things if you say them out loud.

List your most stressful thoughts. These are thoughts that distract you from your daily activities and make you worry more. You wish you could stop having these thoughts but they keep happening them.

Write down your upsetting thoughts in order of the most stressful to the least stressful. Start with your least stressful thought first. Practice thought-stopping.


I’m always worried something bad is going to happen if I go to the store alone.

I just know I’m going to get laid off at work.

I’m so nervous about going to my next Doctor’s appointment. Would if they tell me something that’s bad.

Imagine The Thought:

Sit or lie down in a private place so you can say Stop! out loud and not feel self-conscious. Close your eyes, imagine a situation in which you might have this stressful thought. Allow yourself to have this stressful thought. Allow yourself to focus on that thought.

Stop The Thought.

Startling yourself is a good way to interrupt the thought.

Set a timer, watch, or alarm for 3 minutes. I look at myself in the mirror. Focus on the unwanted thought. When the alarm or timer goes off shout Stop! Clapping your hands or snapping your fingers when you say Stop! Are cues to stop thinking. Empty your mind, and try to keep it empty for 30 seconds. If the negative thought comes back during that time shout Stop again. You can record yourself hearing your own voice telling you to stop helps strengthen your commitment to getting rid of the unwanted thought.

Practice the steps 1-3 until the thought goes away on command. Do these again but this time interrupt the thought by saying the word stop! in a normal voice.

After the normal voice is able to stop the upsetting thought, try whispering Stop. Over time, you can just imagine hearing stop inside your mind. At this point, you can stop upsetting thoughts whenever and wherever it occurs.

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