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Challenging Negative Thoughts

A helpful method to critically look at negative thoughts and decrease the impact they have over you.

Infographic on Socratic questions that can help reduce anxiety and depression. A list of ways to help reduce anxiety

Anxiety is often the result of negative thoughts and thought patterns. While we don't always have control over the thoughts that pop into our head, how we manage them is in our control. A helpful method of challenging and changing these thoughts, is through cognitive restructuring. Take a thought that continues to cause you distress and try to critically look at it with a few of these questions. It can be even more helpful, at least the first few times, to write the thought and answers down. Once you have answered the questions, write the new thought at the bottom of the page (for example, your thought might go from "I can't do anything right" to "I had a hard time with this task but there are other things I do well").

Did you see any evidence that might have you questioning your original thought? Did your thought change completely? I could be helpful to try this with one thought a day before bed, for the next week, to see if the process becomes easier, more automatic when a negative thought arises, or leads to feeling less anxious as you prepare for sleep.


Nothing on this blog should be taken as replacement for medical, clinical, or professional advice or intervention. All content is for educational purposes only.


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