Getting stuck in a negative thought spiral feels like the worst thing on earth.
The day that I figured it was possible to break one of these spirals (if I could see it happening) I knew I'd gained a new and powerful tool. This is not a lofty claim that I'm a perfect, enlightened being, capable of mindfulness at all times. Some days, the demons win. Other days, I'd swear to you that they win far more often than I do, and I really suck at this... but, hopefully, I would stop myself and find a way to interrupt that thought pattern, right there. Full stop.
Writing for the Elephant Journal, Michelle Margaret shares this piece of wisdom:
When I was in elementary school and they taught us about fire safety, the rule if your clothes caught on fire was to “stop, drop and roll.” For some reason, that slogan came into my mind recently, and I realized that it’s applicable to daily life practice, too.
When you get caught in a pattern of negativity—ill will, jealousy, anger, fear, self-hate or whatever it may be—stop.
Stop. Notice that you’ve been swept away from the present moment.
Drop. Let it go. Just as simple as that. Surrender. You don’t need to hold onto it anymore.
Roll. Life goes on. Continue on your way until you need to stop, drop and roll again.
Michelle offers us nine more great suggestions for re-aligning your spirit in her article, "How to be Free: 10 Simple, Transformative, Daily Life Practices." None of them require a lifetime of study or an advanced knowledge of Eastern Mysticism. They're suggestions and ideas, each with the potential to become daily practice, should you find they help you.