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What Do You Do To Stop Yourself From Thought Spiraling?

How do you stop yourself from going down ~the rabbit hole~?

A "thought spiral" happens when one concerning thought or event triggers a chain of linked thoughts that keep going until you're overwhelmed with anxiety, fear, sadness, or stress.

Fox / Simpsonsworld.com / Via giphy.com

Here's an example:

I got that question wrong on the test → I failed the test → I'm going to fail the class → It will bring down my entire GPA → I won't get into grad school or get the job I want → I'm going to be unsuccessful in life and let down everyone = stress, anxiety, panic, etc.

And if you tend to spiral regularly, you know how much time and energy it can take away — which can be frustrating.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed / Via buzzfeed.com

Sometimes the pattern of thinking during a thought spiral is so habitual, we might not even realize we're doing it. You might spend ten minutes or you might spend an hour spiraling — and in both cases, you're removed from the present and consumed with negative thoughts.

So we want to know: What are your strategies for preventing a thought cycle or breaking the chain of linked thoughts after they start?

Even though it may make you feel out of control, it's possible to stop a thought cycle as its happening and disrupt the pattern of negative thinking.

Maybe you get up and go on a walk outside or change up your environment to remove yourself.

Or maybe you stop to take a deep breath and stretch.

Maybe you have an app on your phone that helps distract you from spiraling.

Or perhaps you use a specific object, product, or device to get yourself off the path of worry.

So tell us: How do you prevent or stop a thought spiral before it takes you to a place of stress or anxiety?

We want to know all about the activities, tricks, or hacks you use — no matter how unique they seem.

Tell us in the drop box below and your answer could appear in an upcoming BuzzFeed Health post.