If you have been practicing the relaxation techniques mentioned above, most of your stress causing thoughts would have been taken care of by now. At times, there are certain thoughts which are difficult to overcome and this is the stage where you need to put a stop to such thoughts or feelings.
Reminds me of the scientist who wanted to synthesize the perfect song. So he made a supercomputer and fed in it every hit song of every country. He told the computer to analyze them and create the perfect song, which the computer did. As he listened to it, his mind started to replay the song ad nauseum till he became mad. So the sanatorium people came, locked him up and sold off his computer to pay for his treatment!!!
But jokes aside, there are some stay thoughts that just refuse to vacate your consciousness, though you keep trying to forget them. This is where the technique of thought stopping proves to be effective.
- Whenever you identify your thought which can lead to distress, silently shout the word STOP to yourself.
- Every time the thought comes to your mind carry out the same process.
- Substitute the distressing thought with a relaxing image or thought (similar to the way you did in guided imagery).