A CBT guide to track and dispute the vicious circle of bad thinking habits:
Tips: consider the overdramatic statement – and reframe it, by asking yourself the following:
- Am I using one of my Bad Thinking Habits?
- Which one?
- Am I using emotional reasoning (oh my feelings!) – feelings are not facts.
- What is the evidence for this thought or belief?
- Is there any evidence against it?
- Am I getting things out of proportion?
- Is that a bit dramatic and unhelpful?
- How does accepting these thoughts and beliefs make me feel and behave?
- Has thinking this way been helpful in life so far, or a poison?
- What would I advise my best friend if they were thinking this way?
- What is the rational calm alternative view of this situation?
- What is it more true to say? <—- THIS IS THE REFRAME
In training, we know that people remember 80% of what they discover themselves – so cognitive behavioural training is a psycho-educational model, designed to teach you skills, to teach you how to understand and examine your own ‘attributional style’ (how you explain the world to yourself), and how to recognise distortions, and how to undistort your thinking. Quite literally in an unconditionally accepting fashion. It’s not right or wrong or good or bad, it’s science. We suffer from human species-ness, and for some of us the dial is set too high, and the lens is slightly shifted.
‘Learning by discovery’ through journaling: exploring where your bad thinking habits are, and what your thinking and behavioral patterns are, literally installs the mental task skills into your head – allowing you to reframe your self talk in an instant when you notice you are using one of your bad thinking habit’s, (in the beginning it doesn’t matter whether you notice before, during, or after – do it, over and over, rewire).
Writing things down is a proven tool for learning and deep understanding and discovery, in a way that your brain likes and locks in. And the wonderful thing is that once you’ve put the time in to journal your habits in each of your situational anxiety patterns, it’s done, as you’ll find you use the same habits over and over. You upskill yourself for life – with very real practical tools . You don’t learn to ride a bike by reading about it – theory is all well and good, but if you have no APPLICATION, it won’t stick.
Apply apply apply, build the skill over time, until your brain literally rewires to a cooler more rational processing. Learn well being. Be happy.
See a template below. Or click CBTJournallingGuide.PDF Hi Res Download to download and print a shorter version of this post.
Good luck. And enjoy!