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1 Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System Instantly increase confidence and boost self esteem by stopping negativity in its tracks F. A. Masters
21

The STOP System for Overcoming Negative Thinking

Jul 19, 2016

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If you’ve been down for a long time, you might think that’s just the way you are. Perhaps negativity or depression ‘runs in the family’. Perhaps you think it’s in your DNA?

However, you’ll be pleased to hear that, despite ten years of research and billions of pounds and dollars of investment they still have found no biomarkers for depressive thinking.

This is good news for anyone who wants to change his or her thinking style. If negativity is not in your genes, then there must be a way of resolving it, no matter how long you’ve had it.

Throughout life, we learn ways of acting and thinking in response to our environment. We construct ‘internal maps’ to navigate the world we find ourselves in. More often than not, these patterns are crucial to our everyday functioning, however negative and damaging responses can be learned just as easily.

S.T.O.P! is a simple and effective way to break negative or unhelpful patterns of response which have become embedded in your brain’s neural network. Use this tool to break the downward spiral of negativity and start a positive new life today.

Learn more @ http://www.thefusionmodel.com
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  • 1 Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System

    Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System

    Instantly increase confidence and boost self esteem by stopping negativity in its tracks

    F. A. Masters

  • 2 Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System

    Copyright 2013 Fusion Therapeutic Coaching Ltd.

    All Rights Reserved

  • 3 Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System

    FOREWORD: THE FUSION STORY Several years ago, Robert walked into my office. A design engineer by

    trade, tall, intelligent and smartly dressed, he presented as a successful

    businessman. However, he told a story of a life that was being destroyed by his own negative thinking. He felt that his life was moving nowhere, he lacked

    self confidence, had trouble talking to women and was continuously

    looked over for promotions at work.

    All his negativity and self doubt had resulted in daily panic attacks. He

    had been taken to hospital by ambulance on more than one occasion as

    he felt sure he was having a heart attack. He'd been to multiple

    therapists, life-coaches and counsellors, all of whom left him with

    superficial, short-term improvements.

    We worked together on that first session and he told me his goal was

    simple: to just get through twenty-four hours without an attack. At that

    time I'd been reading a lot of cutting-edge research in neuroplasticity and

    decided to try something new.

    I wanted to provide John the toolset he needed to literally rewire his brain. Let me be clear, I didn't mean this in a vague or abstract way. I wanted to help John to reorganize the neural pathways in his brain.

  • 4 Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System

    Neuroplasticity: The Foundations of Fusion

    It was once believed that as we aged, the brain's networks became

    fixed. In the past two decades, however, an enormous amount of

    research has revealed that the brain never stops changing and adapting.

    An amazing example of this adaptability is the sea gypsies of Thailand, a

    nomadic tribe who live all their lives on boats.

    The children are taught to deep-sea dive for food at a very early age.

    They have developed adaptive responses to their watery environment by

    slowing their heart rates at will to stay down longer. Amazingly their

    vision has also adapted to be able to see clearly up to a depth of thirty

    feet underwater.

    The children of the sea gypsies have learned to change their pupillary

    reflex, an extraordinary example of plasticity, showing clearly how the

    brain and body can be moulded.

    Neurons and synapses

    Inside your brain are billions of neurons. They carry information,

    communicate and connect through synapses forming internal pathways.

    In this way patterns of behaviour, habits and thinking style develop. They

    become the basis of our personality.

    But they can be changed.

  • 5 Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System

    If you think about a grassy field; the very first time you walk across it,

    there is no pathway, yet when you look back, you can just about make

    out where your feet have trodden.

    If you walk across the grass again, you are able to follow your tracks and

    the grass is more trodden down this time.

    By the time you have walked down this track many times, you have

    established a clear pathway.

    The same thing happens in your brain. When you repeat a pattern of

    behaviour, the connections get stronger. Like playing a musical

    instrument, the first time you pick it up, it feels strange and unfamiliar

    but, as you continue to practise and rehearse, you become more

    competent. If you practise regularly, you become so proficient that you

    can play without even thinking about it. You transfer it to a subconscious

    process. It feels natural to play. You are in flow.

    Once you have an established pathway, and once it has been used and

    re-used thousands of times, a myelin sheath wraps around the

    connections. Now you have not just a path or road, but a super highway.

    The pattern of response is now fast, efficient and automatic.

    The dark side of neuroplasticity

    These pathways can be both good and bad. Positive patterns are worth

    repeating but negative patterns, once established can feel difficult to

    break. These are the addictions, negative thinking styles, drinking styles,

    eating styles and life styles.

  • 6 Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System

    If youve behaved in a certain way for a long time, the pathway is

    certainly well embedded.

    Yet, neuroscience has shown us that the brain can be rewired and new,

    more helpful patterns of thought and behaviour can be established.

    Two weeks later he returned a entirely different person. He hadn't had

    one attack since we last met, seemed more confident, happy and

    focused on the goals he now felt able to achieve. He and I were amazed

    at the progress he'd made, and I decided to expand on the tools I'd used

    to help him.

    The result was The Fusion Model, a combination of the most powerful tools available to help reprogram your brain for incerdible success About Frances Masters. MBACP (accred) GHGI. FRTC

    Frances Masters is a BACP accredited psychotherapist with over

    30,000 client hours of experience. She's also a certified life-coach, and

    has helped thousands of people from all walks of life achieve goals big

    and small.

  • 7 Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System

    OVERCOME NEGATIVE THINKING WITH THE S.T.O.P SYSTEM

    'Happiness is an attitude. We either make

    ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.'

    -Fransesca Reigler

    Some people never seem to be happy David was like that. 'It's like someone up there has got it in for me' he

    said.

    Even when everything was going right, David would squash any positive

    feelings with 'It's all going too well, you never know what's around the

    corner.'

    It was like he was trying to protect himself in some way by having

    negative expectations, deliberately setting the bar low.

    As a consequence, David walked around with a personal cloud over his

    head and was constantly in a fight with depression. Many people gave

    him a wide berth. He was simply too negative to be around.

  • 8 Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System

    If you've been down for a long time, you might think that's just the way

    you are. Perhaps negativity or depression 'runs in the family'. Perhaps

    you think it's in your DNA?

    However, you'll be pleased to hear that, despite ten years of research

    and billions of pounds and dollars of investment they still have found no

    biomarkers for depressive thinking.

    This is good news for anyone who wants to change his or her thinking

    style. If negativity is not in your genes, then there must be a way of

    resolving it, no matter how long you've had it:

    'The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is today.'

    -Chinese proverb

    It's never too late to start thinking positively.

    The way you think is critically linked to the way you feel. It's not

    uncommon for people to have 'thinking errors' as the originator of

    Cognitive Behavioural Therapy observed;

    'If aliens landed right now and realised how human beings think, they'd fall off their seats

    laughing.' -Aaron Beck*

  • 9 Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System

    If you get a headache, do you think it's a brain tumour? If you take a

    plane to go on holiday, do you imagine it's going to crash and everyone

    will be killed?

    Do you run scary films in your head? If you are the kind of person who goes from A-Z missing out all the

    letters in between, then you have a classical thinking error.

    You are a 'catastrophiser' and misusing your powerful human imagination. That alone can result in low mood and eventual depression.

    If you've been fighting negative thinking for too long, it's time to make

    some changes. The definition of madness after all is to keep doing what

    you've away done and expect something different to happen!

    How does the S.T.O.P! System work? S.T.O.P! is a way of breaking negative or unhelpful patterns of response which have become embedded in your brain's neural network.

    Throughout life, we learn ways of acting and thinking in response to our

    environment. We construct 'internal maps' to navigate the world we find ourselves in.

    However, those maps are often inaccurate and sometimes downright

    unhelpful!

  • 10 Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System

    Your brain receives information via all the senses of your body; hearing,

    sight, touch, smell and taste.

    But the senses are merely the waiters who bring the feast to the table.

    Your internal experience can never be the reality, just your interpretation

    of it.

    There are many systems around who use motivation and visualisation

    techniques. They can help for a short time. They work by giving people a

    lift and encouraging them to feel more positive.

    You can reclaim your life from negative thinking with S.T.O.P!

    Slow breathe Take a step back Observe and scale Positive mental rehearsal

    #1. S.T.O.P! Ever noticed how a red light stops you in your tracks?

    Much of your life is spent on autopilot. You run software in your head,

    which takes care of most of your day-to-day activities.

    As a result, you can go through a whole day simply reacting to situations using progammes based on previous conditioning and prior

    learning.

  • 11 Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System

    But, what if you could S.T.O.P! and bring your self to awareness?

    Rather than simply and mindlessly react to situations, you can now

    choose a more helpful response.

    For people caught up in a mindless loop of negative thinking, S.T.O.P! presents an opportunity to interrupt that old habitual pattern and run

    different soft ware to generate new neural pathways and new patterns of

    thinking.

    Even though neuroscience tells us we are procession around four

    hundred billion pieces of information subconsciously, you can only think

    one conscious thought at a time.

    S.T.O.P! buys you the time to consciously replace those old unhelpful thoughts and beliefs with new, life enhancing self statements.

    Many negative thinking patterns are generated by the emotional

    subconscious mind.

    This silent right brain hemisphere has no language. It is an older part of

    your brain and understands the world through instincts, emotions,

    images and concepts.

    As soon as you say S.T.O.P! you bring yourself to conscious awareness. You now have an opportunity to choose your thought and

    choose your response.

  • 12 Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System

    'If you can change your mind, you can change your life.' William James

    #2. Slow breathe

    Once you've interrupted automatic reactions with S.T.O.P!, Step 2 involves slowing down the breathe with a powerful parasympathetic

    breathing technique where the out breath is longer than the in breath.

    This stimulates the innate relaxation response which calms both the

    body and the mind.

    This breathing technique is the gateway to advanced meditation and the

    elusive alpha-theta brain state.

    Alpha brain waves are associated with deep relaxation and theta waves

    allow for accelerated learning.

    When you slow the breath and count the breath, you neutralise

    emotional hijacking. Your rational left hemisphere is now running the

    show.

    This is an ideal brain state for taking back control of both thoughts and

    actions.

    From the logical left hemisphere, you will now notice you have a choice.

  • 13 Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System

    'No one can make you feel bad without your permission.' -Eleanor Roosevelt

    #3. Take a step back

    Your extraordinary human brain has the unique ability to shift perception;

    to see things from another point of view; to step back from itself and

    become an observer of both thought and action.

    When you think and act consciously, you are in your 'executive brain.'

    If your life were a soap opera, the executive brain would be both the

    script writer and the director.

    Real psychological health is achieved when you have learned to

    associate and dissociate at will; to connect with emotion when it is

    helpful but to step back when emotional thinking threatens your calm

    and cool judgement.

    Learning to 'step back' from an old unhelpful automatic and conditioned

    internal dialogue now gives you the opportunity to rewrite the script!

    'Do you think your thoughts, or do you allow your thoughts to think you?

    - Anon.

  • 14 Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System

    #4. Observe and scale

    Having stepped back from emotional hijacking and automatic thinking,

    you are now in what Dr Arthur Deikman* referred to as 'the observing self.'

    The executive brain and observing self allow you to access rational and

    logical strategies such as noticing and scaling your own level of anxiety,

    anger, despair, or any of the powerful human emotions which can cloud

    your judgement, thoughts and actions.

    From your observing self, notice what your internal dialogue is and what

    effect that has on how you feel, both physically and emotionally. Notice

    how that affects your behaviour.

    Example 1. Negative Automatic Thought:

    'I'm fat, ugly and stupid. Who will be bothered to talk to me at the office

    party? I'll end up standing on my own feeling awkward....as usual!'

    Result? Go to the party, look unhappy or defensive with lots of negative

    body language which others detect, so they give you a wide berth. Your

    negative internal dialogue is now confirmed. 'I told you so.' it says.

    Example 2. Positive Conscious Thought;

    'I'm looking good in this new outfit. I'm really looking forward to the party.

    It's a good opportunity to get to know the people at work in a relaxed

  • 15 Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System

    setting. If I can't think of anything interesting to say, I'll be a good listener

    and ask lots of questions.'

    Result? Walk in looking happy and approachable, making eye contact as

    you search out new people to get to know. The other people at the party

    now perceive you as warm and approachable.

    Your positive expectation is reinforced. The next party will be easier.

    #5. Positive mental rehearsal

    This is where the fun starts.

    Recent developments in neuroscience now confirm that your human

    brain is a reality generator. Your brain and your body do not know the

    difference between something you vividly imagine and something you

    actually do.

    Think about it. Think of all the possibilities of using your reality generator

    to really help you be your best, feel your best and live your best life?

    Prove it!

    Example 1. Close your eyes and think of a lemon. See its bright yellow

    skin. In your imagination, cut it open and smell the sharp citrus aroma.

    Is your mouth watering?

    Example 2.

  • 16 Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System

    Close your eyes and think of an embarrassing situation. Perhaps you've

    gone out wearing odd socks or had a coughing fit in the middle of a

    presentation.

    Do your palms feel sweaty or your stomach feel tight, or have you gone

    a bit red in the face?

    Australian Psychologist Alan Richardson* took a group of basketball

    players and divided them into three groups.

    He scaled each player's ability to make free throws, then suggested:

    Group A should practise for twenty minutes a day

    Group B should visualise themselves making free throws every day

    Group C should neither practise nor visualise.

    The results were extraordinary. After the designated twenty days were

    up, group C had not improved but group B had improved almost as

    much as group A - by 23 and 24%!

    In other words, there was little difference between those who had

    physically practised and those who had just used positive mental

    rehearsal!

    As an accredited psychotherapist and coach, I constantly use advanced

    visualisation techniques with my clients to accelerate improved well

  • 17 Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System

    being, make positive life changes and move them quickly towards their

    goals.

    Playing a movie in your head

    Every time you repeat a behaviour or thought pattern, your embed a

    neural pathway on your brain.

    A bit like walking across a grassy field. The first time you cross it there is

    no path, but when your turn and look back, you can just make out where

    your feet have trodden.

    When you cross the field again, you can retrace your previous foot

    steps.

    By the time you have crossed that field a few thousand times, you have

    worn the grass down to the mud and you have an established path.

    The same thing happens in your brain.

    The more you repeat an action, or think a negative thought, the more

    you embed those connections between your neurons and synapses.

    You are creating a neural pathway. By the time you have repeated that

    action or that internal script a thousand times, a myelin sheath develops

    around the connections and you now have a super highway, which

    allows faster automatic reaction.

  • 18 Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System

    'Ive had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened'

    Mark Twain

    Here's the great news.

    Because your brain is neuroplastic, you can create new pathways and

    new patterns of response.

    You can generate a different thinking style and, when you stop going

    down that old path, the grass grows up over it.

    Simply put, this is the essence of neuroplasticity. If you positively

    mentally rehearse a new internal dialogue and new patterns of

    response, you will genuinely be rewiring your own brain.

    So, instead of running the old negative programme, you can now upload

    your own improved software in your own time and from the comfort of

    your office chair.

    Here's how:

    Close your eyes, slow your breathing and imagine being in a peaceful

    place.

    Think of something positive you can use as a personal mantra or

    affirmation such as 'Yes I can' or 'I just say yes to life.'

  • 19 Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System

    Imagine you've been asleep and, during the night, something magical

    has happened. Your negative thinking has disappeared. You wake up in

    the morning feeling energetic, confident and positive about the day

    ahead.

    Notice what's different. What are you doing differently? How do those

    around you react?

    How does it feel to be living this way? How does it feel to be thinking this

    way?

    Repeat this exercise before you go to sleep at night. Wake up with

    positive expectation in the morning.

    If, at any point during the day, you notice negativity creeping back in,

    simply say to yourself S.T.O.P!

    Slow your breathing down, mentally step back from the automatic

    thought and choose a more helpful statement or response.

    Have your positive affirmation ready for use.

    The more you use it, the faster the new neural pathway will embed. People in the know understand the power of advanced visualisation

    techniques. Back in the 1980s, Jim Carrey wrote himself a cheque for

    ten million dollars, long before he ever made a movie.

    The principle is simple:

  • 20 Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System

    Neuroscientists tell us that, due to the nature of our brain filter, the

    Reticular Activating System, what you focus on is what you get.

    Through using S.T.O.P! youll learn that theres no such thing as an idle thought.

    You have simply been too tolerant of your minds trance like automatic

    thoughts for too long. But negative thinking is nothing more than a bad

    habit. And like any bad habit, it can be changed with conscious and

    deliberate effort.

    Use S.T.O.P! to practice conscious, moment by-moment awareness.

    Don't run your life on old assumptions, rules and beliefs you 'learned' as

    a child. You don't want that inner child to be controlling your life do you?

    S.T.O.P! will release you from the prison of your illusions. The good news is you can change your behaviour.

    All you have to do is change your mind!

    * Links

    www.simplypsychology.org/maslow

    www.deikman.com

    www.beckinstitute.org

    au.linkedin.com/in/alanrichardsonpsychology

    http://www.thefusionmodel.com

  • 21 Overcoming Negativity with the S.T.O.P! System

    http://thefusionmodel.com/overcoming-negativity-with-the-stop-

    system/