How Can I Challenge My Negative Thoughts?

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How Can I Challenge My Negative Thoughts?

Everyone is plagued by negative thoughts every once in a while. They may be a response to a certain situation, like failing a big test or not getting that job promotion. We can usually get past these thoughts by telling ourselves we did our best or that it wasn’t meant to be. Most of us are able to cope with these thoughts relatively quickly and then move on. Some of us, however, are unable to let these negative thoughts go. They multiply, turning into negative and irrational self-talk. This self-talk attacks who we are. It’s a vicious and endless cycle that leads to nowhere. If you find yourself engaging in negative self-talk, there are ways to challenge the thoughts. Don’t let them win. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is there substantial evidence for my thought?
  • Is there evidence opposing my thought?
  • Am I trying to interpret the situation without all the facts?
  • Would an outsider be thinking the same things I’m thinking?
  • What would I tell an outsider that is having these thoughts?
  • Am I falling into cognitive distortions?
    • Filtering?
      • Am I focusing only on the negatives?
    • Polarized thinking?
      • Am I seeing things in terms of only black or only white?
    • Overgeneralization?
      • Am I assuming everyone’s situations are the same?
    • Jumping to conclusions?
      • Do I have any evidence to support these thoughts?
    • Catastrophizing?
      • Am I thinking about a worst-case scenario?
    • Personalization?
      • Am I blaming myself for what happens outside of my control?
    • Control fallacies?
      • Am I believing that everything that’s happened to me is all my fault?
      • Am I believing that everything that’s happened to me is none of my fault?
    • The fallacy of fairness?
      • Am I too concerned about fairness?
    • Blaming?
      • Am I blaming other people?
    • Should?
      • Am I worrying too much about what should be happening and not enough on what is actually happening?
    • Emotional reasoning?
      • Am I thinking that if I feel something, it must be true?
    • The fallacy of change?
      • Am I acting as if everyone else should change for me?
    • Mislabeling?
      • Am I exaggerating the circumstances?
    • Always being right?
      • Am I telling myself that it’s unacceptable to be wrong?
    • Heavens’ reward fallacy?
      • Am I believing that every good thing I do will be rewarded?

Pinnacle Recovery wants to help you stop your negative thinking. If you are struggling with patterns of negative thinking, reach out to our staff today. We’re available at 1-866-301-0573. We have many different programs to help a variety of needs. We can’t wait to speak with you!

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