Your thoughts are very powerful. Think of a snowball rolling down a steep hill, the more traction it gains, the more likely it will turn into an avalanche of snow. The same is true for negative thoughts. That tiny moment of “I can’t”, “I suck”, “I should be…”, can start the snowball effect in your mind. This can affect your entire day and life if you let it.
Negative Self-Talk Erodes Self-Esteem
Negative self-talk or beliefs about yourself can be detrimental to building self-esteem and confidence. These thoughts are like a bully in your brain. They continue to beat you up until you are too tired to talk back.
Perhaps the beliefs have been around for your whole life, making the bully even stronger. Anxiety-filled or depression-fueled behaviors can also be an example of how this bully works, making you feel less control and more stuck in your symptoms.
How To Use A Thought Log
There are ways to get rid of these unhelpful negative thoughts. One of the most effective tools is a version of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Thought Log. This week’s vlog explains how to make an easy and effective thought log to challenge negative thinking and shift into a more positive frame of mind.
Remember, the first column is the negative thought or belief. Make it simple, one at a time. The second column asks you to validate this thought; why its true or feels true, what in the past has made it true for you. The third column is the facts; why is this belief not true.
Use these thought challenges to help you:
- Is this thought always true? Is there a time that it wasn’t?
- How likely is this going to occur?
- What advice would I tell a friend if she was thinking this?
- How is this thought serving me? Is it more of a bully and just trying to be mean?
- What are smaller reasons why or evidence that shows its not entirely true?
- Am I jumping to negative conclusions?
- Is this an interpretation or is it a thought based on logic or facts?
Try these and good luck!
More Articles on How to Control Negative Thoughts
- 8 Negative Thoughts That Manipulate Your Mind
- Let Go of Limiting Beliefs
- Get Out of Your Head and Improve Self-Esteem
Emily is the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are.You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.