Negative thought spirals can hijack our ability to power through situations we perceive as difficult. contributor Alice Walton offers some new ways to beat back those debilitating voices in our heads that make our fears feel real and infuse doubt.

In addition to meditation and mindfulness, Walton recommends Cognitive Behavior Therapy. It sounds intense, but at the core it’s about recognizing negative thought patterns and consciously choosing to create new ones. For example, if your reflex response to something is repeatedly negative, actively seek to change how you think about it. Then watch as your behavior shifts from negative to positive.

Other ways Walton suggests quieting negative thoughts — coloring, counting, reciting a centering mantra, or running. If you’re not a runner, walking at a brisk, rhythmic pace also works. Practice self-acceptance and self-compassion to lessen the grip of negative voices.

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