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Positive Steps Forward: Ways to change the way you THINK and FEEL (part 2 of 3)

(Please see part 1 at right under “self help articles”)

  1.  Engage in Positive Self Talk each day or when you catch yourself thinking negative or irrational thoughts. “Just because I got one bad grade, doesn’t mean I’m a screw-up in everything.” “I can do this.” “I faced my fears before, I can do it again.” “I can get through this”. If this doesn’t come easily, just imagine what your best friend, a supportive family member, or your guardian angel might say to you.
  2. Meditate daily for 15 minutes or more. Meditation actually changes our brain chemistry and brain waves. It can help calm run-away thoughts, obsessive thinking, stress and depression. It can increase empathy and resilience in the face of stress too. Ask to try meditation in session.
  3. Journal your thoughts and feelings –write them down then go back and re-read them to spot any negative or irrational thoughts and replace them with positive ones (take out your list of cognitive distortions for help).
  4. Catch yourself using “should” statements—“I should be better at this”, “I should have taken that job”, “I should be making more money by now”. Should statement only imply guilt and place undue blame on you. Should statements are not useful anyway—there’s no way to go back or do something different. Replace shoulds with positive statements: “Everyone makes mistakes,” “I’m learning and doing my best.”
  5. Actively engage in therapy or schedule an appointment soon. Bring with you questions, plans, progress toward goals, frustrations, and suggestions so we can talk about them and make changes that’ll help you the most in the least amount of time.
  6. Choose any one or more of the above:_______________________________
    Write down your intention: For example, “Journaling will help me uncover stubborn negative beliefs so I can be free of them for good.”
    How will I remember to adopt this change? For example, “I will keep my journal near my bed to help me remember to write daily.”
    What do I notice after adopting this change? Is there anything I need to do to make this work better for me?
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