Thought stopping is an effective technique that will help you control your obsessive scary thoughts and can even help you prevent future panic episodes. It is effective whenever you find your thoughts are negative and self-sabotaging.
As you know, thoughts that are not based on truth, are based solely on imagination. It is time for you to take full responsibility for how you feel, so don't create a reality that is not true! Your brain has no other job but to believe what you tell it. So if you are believing every thought that comes into your mind, you are creating a world that is not true.
It's important when using thought stopping to change your focus once you become aware of unproductive thinking. You must break the negative pattern immediately and you must do it each time the thoughts come. Thought stopping is something that takes a lot of practice. Since we are creatures of habit, those unproductive thoughts can be very persistent. Therefore, you must practice thought stopping in order to master it.
There are a couple ideas that I used to help break the pattern of negative thinking that worked really well for me.
One thing that helped me to refocus was to wear a rubber band around my wrist. Obviously, one that is not too tight but fits comfortably. Each time I recognized unproductive, negative thoughts (especially ones leading to panic), I would lightly snap the band and then replace those thoughts with positive, truthful thoughts.
This is an effective way to stop unwanted thoughts because not only does it involve the mind but also the body. This method is very effective when you are out in public situations. It is very discreet and most people won't even realize what you are doing. One thing I found by doing this so much was that after a while, I no longer snapped the band. Instead, just by looking at the elastic it triggered a proper response. Before long, you forget that the band is there.
Another method you can use is when you are sitting down, stand abruptly and then change your focus to something else. By standing, you are involving the body and by refocusing your thoughts you are using your mind. This method is best used when at home but is not practical for public situations.
Of course, there are other ways to stop those thoughts and break negative patterns of thinking. It's important that you use a technique that you feel comfortable with. If you have a technique that you'd like to share with others, please let us know! Thanks in advance for your contribution!