3 reasons negative thoughts make us feel so bad &

3 steps to show them who's boss.... (aka YOU)

Negative thoughts..... ugh..... you know, those things that make you feel depressed and anxious and all-over terrible.... we've all got em. But we don't need to let them be the boss of us, and control how we think and feel and act.

One of the first things I hear in therapy sessions are these negative thoughts that come up for people. Everyone has them. Though some people are better than others at realizing that they are around. They're often the things our brain tells us, like "you're not good enough" "there's a reason you're single" "there's no point in applying to that job, you won't get it"…. etc.

Maybe these sound familiar to you. The reason why they're so crappy is:

  1. they make us feel bad. Terrible. Anxious. Depressed. Hopeless. Etc.

  2. they're also often not even real or true or based in any tiny bit of factual information.

  3. and for most people, we don't realize our brain is doing this. it happens so fast, automatically. and our brains have gotten very good at doing this for X # of years. 25, 32, 41.... for however many years, it's a lot of years of practice.

The general way for dealing with them is based in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is an evidenced-based therapy modality. All of that therapymumbojumbo basically means that it's proven to work. I use parts of this in my work with lots of different people. But it's not everyone's jam.... so if it's not yours either, don't worry!

3 steps to "mastering your negative thoughts"
might sound easy, but remember... your brain has gotten very, very good at doing this. Many many years of fine-tuned practice. So, it's not so easy or quick. It is a process.

But the 3 steps don't really change:
Step # 1- catching negative thoughts. First, you need to identify and increase your awareness of when these thoughts pop up. You can do this on your own, or work with a therapist to help. When I'm meeting with people, I am listening for a lot of different things, but negative thoughts that you aren't fully aware of, is one of the big ones. And I'll tell you when I hear them. Once we have a good idea of what they are, then we can move to step 2.
Step #2- looking for evidence. Gathering actual, objective evidence to support or disprove your thought is an extremely important step. The objective part is key, though. You can't trust your own brain here. In sessions, I am often reminding people of the objective evidence that very often fully disproves their negative thoughts.
Step #3- finding an alternative thought. Once you identify the negative thought, and are able to disprove it.... now you need to tell your brain what it should be thinking instead. This would be your new & improved, alternative thought. This one is based in reality and objective evidence. And, hopefully, makes you feel a bit better than the first automatic negative thought. It should also be easier to believe (remember, evidence).... but might still take some time to convince your brain, so you might need to actively remind yourself of this newer way of thinking.

If you have any questions, you can always reach out to me. Or if you want to try out this process in real life, let's book a session to get started! Remember, this format doesn't work for everyone, and it's not the only way to tackle feeling crappy. But it is a process and a tool that can work for a lot of people.

Click the button below if you'd like to get my FREE PDF guide to challenging your negative thoughts. It will walk you through all of the steps needed to get started, you can sign up to get it here…. FOR FREE.