This is an anchoring exercise. You should practice it when you don’t need it, so that you can call on it when you do.
Start by rubbing your thumb and index finger together in a circle motion. have your eyes closed. As you do this, think about someone that you care about and who cares about you. Think of the good times together and why you are friends/close/etc.
Then move to rubbing your thumb finger and middle finger together. Focus on a happy memory that really brings you joy.
Then your thumb finger and ring finger. Focus on an event where you were successful.
Then thumb and pinky. Focus on where you would like to see yourself in the future.
Make sure to have your eyes closed and really visualize it. Spend about 30-60 seconds doing this with each finger. If you practice it regularly, it’ll be an easier tool to call upon when you get stressed out. We have a huge catalog of memories and experiences to draw from. This anchoring exercise helps you flip to your favorite sections of that catalog when you need them the most.
Also, as a bonus, here’s a quick article on interrupting the negative thought spiral. http://www.valorieburton.com/freebies/resilience/5-ways-to-keep-negative-thoughts-from-spiraling-out-of-control/