Catch and challenge unhelpful thinking
Try to catch yourself whenever you find you are thinking any unhelpful thoughts and challenge them! And no matter what the issue practice thinking about things that help you achieve your goals rather than focusing on the obstacles that will get in your way.
But how do you do this?
If you have struck a problem or something is on your mind it can be helpful to ask yourself a few questions like:
How do I know that is true? What makes me think that?
Chances are you don’t have any evidence that it is true. Focus on what you know for sure – don’t worry about things without a good reason to.
Is there an alternative explanation?
There are usually lots of different explanations for why things happen. Just because you have come up with one explanation it does not mean that it is true – consider the possibilities.
What would I say if my friend was thinking the same thing?
Act like your own best friend and remember what they would say about the situation – don’t be so hard on yourself.
What are the chances that this ‘bad thing’ will actually happen?
When you think rationally and objectively you can find that things are not as bad as you think – keep things in perspective.
Is there another way that would help me to think about things a bit more helpfully?
It is about looking at an event and wondering if there is another way to think about it - improve how you feel about something by changing how you think about it.