A downloadable version of this handout (S4.c) is attached.

How to Stop Thinking Negative Thoughts – Handout

The first step is to listen to your thoughts in order to identify the kinds of things you say to yourself. This may seem boring or silly at first, but with practise you will soon become skilled at noticing the negative things you say to yourself. When you suspect you are thinking a negative thought, ask yourself the following questions about it.

  • Am I calling myself negative names?
  • Am I predicting the future negatively?
  • Am I comparing myself negatively to others?
  • What is the evidence for or against the truth of this thought?
  • What would other people think in a similar situation?
  • How would I have seen this situation before I became stressed about it?
  • Am I making things out to be worse than they really are?
  • Does this thought help me to get what I want?
  • Am I using words like Never, Always, Every, Nobody, Everyone?
  • Am I using other negative words like Should, Ought, Must. I’ll never, I
    if only, What will people think?
  • Am I pretending that I can read other people’s minds by thinking this?
  • Am I concentrating on my weaknesses and forgetting my strengths?
  • Am I blaming myself for something which is not my fault?
  • Am I expecting myself to be perfect?
  • How would I see someone else in my situation?
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