Thought Challenging Exercise
The research indicates that people who challenge their negative thoughts in a systematic way can significantly reduce stress in the short term as well as long-term distress. The purpose of this exercise is to practice the technique of the "Three C’s" on a situation that is causing you distress. This situation could relate to problems with coworkers, disagreements with your children, conflict in your relationships, difficulty dealing with your extended family, worry over your finances, problems with your health, etc.
THE SITUATION: Briefly describe the situation that I am feeling pessimistic about.
1. CATCH IT
Are you feeling pessimistic? Notice the presence of distressing emotions.
List the emotions:
What is the pessimistic belief?
2. CHECK IT
What evidence do I have in support of this belief?
3. CHANGE IT
Given the evidence and/or the possibility of alternative explanations, what is a more balanced belief?
What can I do to take a step in a positive direction?