Challenging Negative Thoughts

Hopefulness statements

Be kind and encouraging to yourself! Pessimism is a self-fulfilling prophecy.Try self-statements like “even though this is hard, I can cope with it” or “I can change if I want to, nothing is set in stone”.

Blame the event, not yourself

We all make mistakes sometimes. Mistakes made in a particular situation are not permanent reflections on you as a person.

Reminding yourself to stay ‘on task’

Try to focus on what you need to do. Taking action often makes you feel better.

Avoid ‘shoulds’ and ‘oughts’

If you find that your automatic thoughts are full of these types of words, then it probably means you are setting unreasonable demands upon yourself or others. Removing these words from your thoughts can allow you more freedom to be yourself.

Recall good things

Focus on the positive. What things have gone well recently? What things do you like about yourself? What are you grateful for in your life? What personal skills do you have that have helped you cope in the past?

Relabelling the distress

Negative thoughts or feelings don’t inevitably mean you are going to end up drinking or using. Think of them as signals and listen to them.

Decatastrophising

Are you over-reacting? Often events are much less catastrophic than you automatically think. What is really the worst that can happen? How likely is it that this would happen? What could you do to cope even if the worst were to happen?