How to Test Your Anxious Thoughts
“How we see it is how it will be.” (Anonymous)
We most often suffer more from what we FEAR than what actually HAPPENS, so it’s important for you to learn how to evaluate what you are thinking. Things always look less fearful when we face them head on vs. running or distracting ourselves into TV, alcohol, food, or work.
Spend some time in your journal with your anxious thoughts, asking yourself these questions:*
- What is the situation that I’m stressed or worried about?
- What am I THINKING or IMAGINING?
- How much do I believe that thought? A little? A lot? Or give a percentage
- How does that thought MAKE ME FEEL? (assign a feeling)
- How STRONG is that feeling? A little? A lot? Or give a percentage
- What makes me think the thought is true?
- What makes me think the thought is NOT true or not COMPLETELY true?
- What’s another way to look at this situation?
- What’s the worst that could happen?
- Could I still live through that?
- What’s the BEST that could happen?
- What will PROBABLY happen?
- What WILL happen if I keep telling myself the same thought?
- What COULD happen if I changed or challenged my thinking?
- What would I tell my friend _________________ if this happened to him/her?
- What should I do now?
- How much do I believe that negative thought now? A little? A lot? Or give a percentage
- How strong is my negative FEELING now? A little? A lot? Or give a percentage.
Remember: you are not alone! I am here for you to evaluate and explore these fears and help you learn new ways of thinking and seeing your life.
*from the work of J.S. Beck