Stress isn't just about what happens to you, but how you respond. And because your thoughts are usually on autopilot, your response can get ahead of you. If you don't hear back about a job, for example, you might think, "I knew this was too good to be true," "They probably found someone much more qualified," or "I'm so embarrassed because now I have to tell everyone I didn't get it."
If you never question your thoughts, you're giving them free reign over you and your mood. But if you can map your emotions back to their underlying thoughts, you have a better chance of nipping your stress in the bud.
We call it the "trap it, map it, zap it" approach to troubling thoughts: Identify the moment you start getting hot under the collar; map it back to what idea or thought triggered it; and zap it. Question what's really going on there and if it's worth your time. If it is, then what action will you take? If it's not, disregard the thought completely.
--Posted by Lindsay Holmes