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Stress Diary Journal Guides

Guide 7: Automatic Thoughts

Guide 7: Automatic Thoughts

Stress Diary Journal Your Guide


Identifying Automatic N egative Thoughts?
These are Negative thoughts, which might make you behave in a way that is not helpful to your well being have certain features: thoughts at first, but it gets easier with practice. It helps if you write them down in a thought diary over a period of time and you could then revisit them. Typical Thinking Errors A basic factor in how we respond to a situation is the way in which we interpret the situation. Our five senses are capable of taking in much more information that our brains are able to compute, so we need to simplify the information streaming in through our eyes and ears before we can use it. We cut corners and take shortcuts in our thinking to handle the sensory load better. Doing this means that we are not getting a direct readout on the world, so our thoughts and beliefs about the world are vulnerable to error. When we are stressed or feeling low, our thoughts are particularly prone to distortions or errors. These thinking errors are common everyone has them to some degree but they do make us feel worse. But - by changing or Automatic Thoughts, we can change our feelings and our energy levels, and improve how we handle the setbacks and stresses in daily life. Normally we each have our favourite thinking errors. Review these and identify yours. All or Nothing thinking If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure [I didnt get top marks in one test Im useless]. This type of thinking forms the basis of

Typical thinking errors

All or nothing thinking Tunnel vision Over-Generalising Jumping to conclusions Mind Reading Fortune telling Catastrophising Emotional Reasoning Should statements Labelling & Mislabelling Personalisation and Blame Discounting the Positive

They are usually automatic thoughts that seem to come out of nowhere Often they can flash through your mind without you being aware of them They seem reasonable at the time, and you accept them without question They are the thoughts that, if they were true, would make most people feel quite anxious or unhappy Next time you feel particularly stressed, take time to examine what is going through your mind. It may be quite hard to identify your automatic

perfectionism and frequently goes hand in hand with the tendency to see things in black and white [Im completely right, hes completely wrong] Tunnel Vision Seeing only the negative [or the positive] aspects of a situation. Over-generalisation Expecting that, because

something has happened in the past, it always will [My partners always leave me, the people I meet are all unfaithful] Jumping to conclusions You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion. Examples are: Mind Reading You assume

you know what other people are thinking, or that they are reacting negatively to you, without checking your hunches e.g. My friend didnt say hello she is mad at me. Fortune telling You predict that things will turn out badly. Before a very important test, you may tell yourself, I am going to fail, I know it If you are depressed, you may tell

Next time you are stressed, take time to examine what is going through your mind!

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Stress Diary Journal

yourself, Ill never get better. Catastrophising You exaggerate your own problems, imperfections, etc and automatically imagine the worse case scenario: I made a mistake. Now I am going to fail, I wont get into University and loose all chance of getting a good job. I will never be able to afford to buy a car and house and will grow old a lonely person Emotional reasoning You

take your emotions as evidence for the truth I feel guilty, therefore I must have done something bad or I feel anxious, so something bad must be about to happen. Should Statements You try to convince yourself with shoulds and shouldnts as if you had to be whipped and punished before you could be expected to do anything. Musts and Oughts are also offenders e.g. I should do this or I must do that. The emotional

It is not the event that causes us stress, it is our view of the event

consequence is guilt. When you direct should statements towards others, you feel anger, frustrations and resentment e.g. He shouldnt be so self-centered and thoughtless or She ought to be prompt. Labelling and Mislabelling Instead of describing your effort, you attach a negative label to yourself: Im a failure instead of I made a mistake When other peoples behaviour rubs you the wrong way, you attach a negative label: Shes lazy instead of Shes too busy. Personalisation and Blame Occurs when you hold yourself personally responsible for an event that is not entirely under your control and can lead to guilt, shame and feelings of inadequacy. The opposite is blaming other people or circumstances for your problems without considering ways that you might be contributing to the problem. Discounting the Positive You shrink your strengths, resources and good points and reject positive experiences by insisting they dont count. For example, If you do a good job, you tell yourself that it wasnt good enough, or that anyone could have done as well

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The Stress Diaries we have available

The Stress Diary Journal This 4 week programme to complete stress mastery, is an invaluable tool to effectively manage your stress to gain insight and explore self understanding. The Stress Diary Journal allows you to record your daily stress incidents & to monitor these incidents and analyse them on a daily basis, for a period of 4 weeks. Divided into 4 weekly sections for you to master your stress progressively and more competently, it helps you review your initial appraisals, stress responses, your reactions & to identify your stress triggers, to then restructure your thoughts, your attitude and subsequent behaviours. You will be able to easier identify negative behaviour patterns, to increase your stress awareness, to learn new coping skills and to let you adapt new & alternative strategies. You will learn renewed self management skills, inner control, effective goal setting, time management skills, to overcome obstacles and increased perseverance to complete set tasks and to instil newfound routines, competencies and behaviours. It helps you to know yourself and manage your life more completely. This is an invaluable tool to gain unique insight, explore self-understanding, learn stress management skills and effectively manage your stress in 4 weeks!

With a purchase of any of these Diaries, you get full Stress Management Support @ www.stressdiaries.com Stress Diary: Daily Recorder Journal A companion guide to the Stress Diary Journal in a handy size to carry about , and for you to easily record your daily stress entries. Each Stress entry is individually presented for ease of recording on the go and to then transfer these entries to your Stress Diary Journal, or this Stress Diary: Reflection Journal, at the end of your day. Making remembering these Stress incidents/events much easier and keeping you in touch with managing your stress more effectively.

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Stress Diary: Reflection Journal This Stress Reflection Diary Journal is a companion guide to the Stress Diary/Journal and used as an additional tool to further enhance your insight and understanding of your stress. You are to choose 1 significant Stress Entry per day, from your Stress Diary Journal for the length of your 24 week programme, that you may want to elaborate and focus on. Using the guideline questions and answer spaces that are provided, and you can add your personal notes or thoughts about your day or progress. Weekly summaries of your progress are included, to advance and monitor your progress and by answering these questions and adding your own observations, you will increase your skills at understand, managing your reactions and responses to your daily stress triggers and stressors. The Reflection Journal is an easy way to record and focus on how to reflect on your experiences and how you can learn from it.

Get these Stress Diary Journals at www.stressdiaries.com

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