Treat Your Negative Thoughts as Guesses

CBT Exercise

Treat Your Negative Thoughts as Guesses

You have learned to think in ways that perpetuate your problematic emotions. Your vision is clouded by depression, you feel helpless, pessimistically unable to improve. Your anxiety causes you to overestimate the likelihood of danger. These all serve to reinforce and intensify problems validating the negative feedback and end up functioning as a self fulfilling prophecy.

Reverse the negative feedback and relate to the thoughts as guesses.

 Begin to think in terms of hypothesis. Look at the initial thought decision as a first possible guess and think about other reasons as guesses as well.

Jot them all down in a small notebook you can keep on your person.

Bring your work to your next appointment


  1. When feeling a strong negative emotion i.e. sadness, anxiety etc. stop and identify the thoughts that seem most responsible for fuelling the emotion.
  2. Pick the thought that packs the most punch and remember it is one way of making sense of the available facts

Author: shawlj

I am on new ground now, finally free from many decades of ‘taking care of business’. The letters behind my name became an anchor that I have finally broken free from. You have a standing invitation to walk with me here, where the living is easy and uncluttered.

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