Writing in a journal
One way to work through stressful situations is through a thought record journal.
Step 1: The Situation
Write about what triggered your stress: Who? What? Where? When?

Step 2: Interpretation
Write down your thoughts, beliefs and assumptions about the situation.

Step 3: Challenging Evidence
Reread what you have written. Ask yourself if you are engaging in a negative thinking pattern. Write down statements that challenge your negative thoughts. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Have I had any experiences that show that this thought is not completely true all the time?
  • Am I jumping to conclusions that aren't justified by the evidence?
  • Were there strengths or positives in me or in the situation that I am overlooking?
  • If my best friend or someone I love had this thought, what would I tell them?
  • If my best friend or someone who loves me knew I was thinking this way, what would they say?
  • What evidence would they point out to show me that my thoughts aren't completely true?
  • What have I learned from past experiences that could help me now? What have I done before to feel better about this?
  • Two years or two months from now, will I see this situation differently than I do today? Will I even remember it?
  • Am I blaming myself or someone else for something that I or they don't have complete control over?

Step 4: A More Balanced Interpretation
See if you can rewrite your thoughts about the event in a more balanced way. Try to stick to the facts.
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.


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