Strategy for Handling Negative Thoughts

In Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), there is a practice of writing down one’s thoughts and then questioning them. Asking oneself: Is there another way I could have interpreted this situation?

I did something like that recently. I decided to record each time my co-worker said something that hurt my feelings. Anything that made me feel judged, inadequate, and/or misunderstood.

I did this to diffuse the negative energy that builds up inside of me each day (some days it’s quite a lot!). At first I jotted down their actual comment, then I switched to just tallying it. Making a physical mark on a paper made me feel that each emotional slight was seen and heard. I felt validated. Also, recording the information in this way made it feel more objective—as if I was a scientist collecting data. It helped activate my executive brain as opposed to my emotional and/or survival brain.

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