get rid of negative thoughtsIn past postings I talked about the power of thoughts and how convincing they can seem in times when our emotions are high. When we’re depressed, automatic negative thoughts such as “This is hopeless,” or “I’ll never get this right,” or “what’s the point” are swimming around. If we’re excited, thoughts like, “this is really going to happen,” or “everyone loves me,” or “I feel like I can do no wrong” are prevalent. Thoughts are powerful and it’s worth becoming aware of our minds, understanding that thoughts are not facts and at times, even challenging them.

I was recently reading through a friend and colleague of mine, Steve Flowers’ book The Mindful Path Through Shyness where he cites four helpful questions from Byron Katie’s book, Loving What Is to challenge automatic negative thoughts (ANTS).

Here are the four questions to help challenge compelling thoughts:

  1. Is it true?
  2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
  3. How do you react when you believe that thought?
  4. Who would you be without that thought?

    In doing this practice, you come to understand just how many of our thoughts are simply not true. Yet, these thoughts change the way we see things and how we react in this world.

    If our thoughts are going to have that much influence on us, it’s certainly worth checking them out.

    However, before you can even make the decision to check them out, you need to become aware of them and step outside of them for a moment.

    In other words, Stop, Take a Breath, Observe that these thoughts are going on, and Proceed with these four questions. This is using theSTOP practice to get to those four questions.

    Try this out today…

    As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

    Photo by Allan Donque, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.

     


    Comments


    View Comments / Leave a Comment

    This post currently has 13 comments.
    You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.






        Last reviewed: 9 Aug 2011

    APA Reference
    Goldstein, E. (2011). The Four Questions to Rid Automatic Negative Thoughts. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindfulness/2011/08/the-four-questions-to-rid-automatic-negative-thoughts/

     

    Mindfulness & Psychotherapy



    Subscribe to this Blog:
    Feed


    Or Get a Single, Daily Email (enter email address):

    via FeedBurner



    Archives



    Books and CDs by Dr. Elisha Goldstein:
    Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler: Quick Exercises to Calm Your Mind
    The Now Effect: How This Moment Can Change The Rest of Your Life

    A Mindfulness-Based
Stress Reduction Workbook Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety and Depression
     

    Subscribe to this Blog:
    Feed


    Or Get a Single, Daily Email (enter email address):

    via FeedBurner



    Recent Comments
    • baftdastard: The thing is The rose Never knows what lies Behind the inquiring nose The lonely woes Of those Who...
    • Seahawk: Until the last five years of my closed christian thinking I became exposed with Thich..my spirit immediately...
    • Clear mind and balanced: Wonderful comment, we should all send our healing, I know mine comes from Thay!
    • Brigid: I am deeply touched by Thay’s passing away…although I have not come to know him personally what I...
    • Marianna: Dear Thay, dear Sangha, We wish to send you all our love and gratitude for what you have done and what you...
    Find a Therapist
    Enter ZIP or postal code



    Users Online: 12240
    Join Us Now!