Finding Alternative Thoughts


    Unhelpful   Thinking Habit        Alternative more balanced thought
Mental Filter Am I only noticing the bad stuff? Am I filtering out the positives? Am I wearing those ‘gloomy specs’? What would be more realistic?
Mind-Reading Am I assuming I know what others are thinking? What’s the evidence? Those are my own thoughts, not theirs. Is there another, more balanced way of looking at it?
Prediction Am I thinking that I can predict the future? How likely is it that that might really happen?
Compare & despair Am I doing that ‘compare and despair’ thing? What would be a more balanced and helpful way of looking at it?
Critical self There I go, that internal bully’s at it again. Would most people who really know me say that about me? Is this something that I am totally responsible for?
Shoulds and musts Am I putting more pressure on myself, setting up expectations of myself that are almost impossible? What would be more realistic?
Judgements I’m making an evaluation about the situation or person. It’s how I make sense of the world, but that doesn’t mean my judgments are always right or helpful. Is there another perspective?
Emotional Reasoning Just because it feels bad, doesn’t necessary mean it is bad. My feelings are just a reaction to my thoughts – and thoughts are just automatic brain reflexes
Mountains and molehills Am I exaggerating the good aspects of others, and putting myself down? Or am I exaggerating the negative and minimizing the positives? How would someone else see it? What’s the bigger picture?
Catastrophising OK, thinking that the worst possible thing will definitely happen isn’t really helpful right now. What’s most likely to happen?
Black and white thinking Things aren’t either totally white or totally black – there are shades of grey. Where is this on the spectrum?
Memories This is just a reminder of the past. That was then, and this is now. Even though this memory makes me feel upset, it’s not actually happening again right now.