Start a Thought Record Journal
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.