Imagine that you’re about to go to bed at night when you all-of-a-sudden remember an important video conference you need to attend the following day. You pull out your journal or planner and start jotting it down and blocking it off in your calendar so that you don’t forget… But one thought leads to another, and now, all of a sudden, instead of being grateful for having remembered your meeting tomorrow, you start stressing out about everything else you’ve got on your plate this week.
And before you know it, you’re inundated with a flurry of anxiety-inducing thoughts: Your meeting tomorrow is on video and your home office looks like a war zone. You’ve got several upcoming deadlines to meet for work and you don’t know how you’ll get it all done. You’ve got a never-ending list of tasks on your to-do list, your car needs an oil change, and your inbox seems to fill back up just minutes after you clear it out.
You think, “I can’t believe how much stuff I have to do. This is driving me crazy!”
And you’re absolutely right—if you continue down this path, you WILL go crazy.
But there’s a better way to stop this mental chatter and negative thinking from snowballing out of control…
Here are some actionable insights on how to get better at preventing “thought attacks” like the one above from spiraling out of control and overwhelming you in the process. Practice these tips to stop negative thinking and to regain control over the voice in your head.
To review: If you suffer from the snowball effect of the voice in your head, you can get better at staying in control by 1) talking to yourself like you’d talk to a friend, 2) noticing the chatter, and 3) practicing catching yourself before the snowball gets too big.
Try these tips next time you’re overwhelmed or distracted by your own mental chatter—you’ll be surprised at how effective and stress-relieving it can be.