This is one of my favourite techniques for helping STOP the mind monkey and regain control of your thoughts. We roleplay this in a lot of my sessions. I was taught it by an NLP practitioner years ago and found it exceptionally helpful when I could feel my thoughts going round and round on a hamster wheel. I have subsequently adapted it to suit mine and my clients needs. I hope it helps you.


First of all well done for making this choice. You are a powerful genius and can do anything you set your mind to! Well done.

1. STOP put your hands out or push down as you emphatically say STOP outloud

2. STEP BACK take a physical step back away from that thought

3. CONGRATULATE yourself to choosing to pause and evaluate

4. CHOOSE if you want to continue thinking in that downwards spiral or if you want to feel something different

5. SIDESTEP to face a new direction if you haven chosen to change your thought

6. ASK YOURSELF how would you rather be feeling right now e.g. calm, confident, relaxed

7. STEP INTO A TIME when you felt like this. Use all your senses to step back into that moment. Visualise it, hear the sounds, think of what you can feel (sand, cocktail, massage oil etc), remember the weather and what you were wearing – anything to relive the moment.

8. Once you have immersed yourself in this memory, try and give this memory a colour, then a name (e.g. beach or calm), and tell yourself “I am feeling [insert adjective or name of memory]”