-What is my evidence for and against my thinking?
-Are my thoughts factual, or are they just my interpretations?
-Am I jumping to negative conclusions?
-How can I find out if my thoughts are actually true?
If your thought is a core belief, write it out and ask yourself, “Is this thought 100% true ALL of the time?”. Begin creating a list of any and all instances you find that are not true.
Look for Alternate Explanations
-Are there any other ways that I could look at this situation?
-What else could this mean?
-If I were being positive, how would I perceive this situation?
Put Things in Perspective
When you are feeling upset, you are likely to think about things in a way that is much more extreme than the actual situation. This can make the negative feelings a lot worse. Putting things in perspective, can help you to reduce this extreme self-talk.
-Is this situation as bad as I am making out to be?
-What is the worst thing that could happen? How likely is it?
-What is the best thing that could happen?
-What is most likely to happen?
-Is there anything good about this situation?
-Will this matter in five years’ time?
Use Goal-directed Thinking – Recognizing that your current way of thinking might be self-defeating can sometimes motivate you to look at things from a different perspective.
-Is thinking this way helping me to feel good or to achieve my goals?
-What can I do that will help me solve the problem?
-Is there something I can learn from this situation, to help me do it better next time?
Do a cost-benefit analysis of believing your thought. Ask yourself, “How will it help me to believe this thought?” and “How does it hurt me to believe this thought?”. Write down your answers and decide if believing this thought is more harmful than good. If so practice choosing to let it go, or opening to the possibility that your thought is not true.
This technique is one of the core practices of cognitive therapy. This direction in therapy was mainly pioneered by Aaron Beck.