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Anxiety Worry and CBT Part three

Challenging Thoughts:

In my last blog I spoke about the types of thinking errors (cognitive distortions) that we are prone to in order to maintain our core beliefs which often do not serve us. One really simple exercise to challenge thoughts is keeping a thoughts record. I often use this with my clients. When you feel distressed it can be useful to do the following:

1. Draw five Columns on a sheet of paper

2. Label the columns A B C AltA AltB

3. In the first column you write about the Activating event - the trigger

4.In the second column you write down Your Beliefs about the situation - your thoughts

5.In the third column you write down the Consequences - your feelings and behaviours

6. The next two columns are about looking at alternative perspectives. In alternative Beliefs you are looking for other ways you could think about the situation. In the next column you write about alternative Consequences (feelings and behaviours) as a result of these new alternative thoughts.

Hold on to these diaries and over time you will find that often you gain more evidence for the alternatives as opposed to initial responses.