When you notice yourself feeling low, try to identify the negative automatic thoughts that are driving that mood. Write them down. Now ask yourself the following questions: Is there another way of looking at this? How might I view this if I was feeling more positive? How might I view this in a week’s/month’s/year’s time? What would someone else say about this? How might my partner/parent/sibling/friend view this? What is the evidence for this thought? Is my thinking distorted or bi
THOUGHT BALANCING This technique is key to cognitive therapy and involves looking at your anxious thoughts in a different way. You really can start to see that thoughts are just that, and do not necessarily represent facts. We can see thoughts as simply mental events. Yet frequently we respond to them as if they were concrete facts rather than possibilities or ideas. Just because you think something bad will happen is that guaranteed? Some thoughts will be true, some won’t and there will be a large grey area in between these two extremes. Remembering this is a good place to start. Chapter 6 looks at depression and shows you how to begin to manage your negative thoughts by examining the objective evidence for them and working on developing alternative balanced (and ultimately more realistic and helpful) ways of viewing a situation. Check out some of the exercises there. Consider whether you are being affected by any of the distorted ways of thinking that we describe. try it now CHALLENGE YOUR WORRIES OR ANXIOUS THOUGHTS When dealing specifically with anxious thoughts, worries or pre
Throughout this book we’ll be illustrating how it’s our Bs (beliefs) that largely cause the stressful Cs (consequences), not necessarily the actual situation itself. So, if someone isn’t stressed about meeting important deadlines, giving a presentation or meeting new people it’s because they believe they’ll cope well and therefore don’t predict any awful consequences. The fact that they’re not stressed in this way can then become a self-fulfilling prophecy, in that it will cause them to behave and react in positive ways which might actually make a successful outcome more likely. When we hold overly negative beliefs the opposite can happen.