• Jessie Hebert

Reframing Irrational Thoughts

When we encounter stress, we often experience irrational thinking, which can increase negative emotions. By thinking through all of our thoughts, recognizing irrational ones, and reframing them to make them rational, we can avoid unnecessary stress and work through problems more effectively. Here ares some common irrational thoughts and how to rephrase them:

1. "I can't stand this."

Instead of telling yourself that you can't make it through what you're dealing with, try to remember that although you are in distress right now, this feeling will not last forever and you can handle it day by day. Remember that if you feel helpless and overwhelmed with how to deal with this distress, you can always ask for help. You are not alone.

2. "I must do everything well."

Avoid setting unrealistic expectations for yourself, and remind yourself that even if you don't perform well or if you make a mistake, it won't be a disaster and you can still learn from the experience.

3. "I feel worthless, I am worthless."

Instead of letting your feelings dictate reality, remind yourself that your feelings are valid, but that reality is sometimes different than how you feel. Just because you feel worthless doesn't mean that you are. You have worth.

4. "My day is ruined because this one bad thing happened."

Try not to overgeneralize the negativity of one event to the entire day, remind yourself that good things have happened too and that the rest of the day can be positive. After you finish acknowledging your feelings about the negative event, look forward to the good things yet to come.

5. "I assume this person thinks negatively of me."

When you find yourself guessing what others are thinking, remind yourself that you aren't a mind reader. If it is bothering you wondering what the person is thinking, ask them what they think respectively. Even if they do think negatively of you, it doesn't mean that you are worthless. People care about you.

"You don't have to control your thoughts, you just have to stop letting them control you." -Dan Millman

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