ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Challenge Your Self

Updated on January 1, 2020
pratik987 profile image

Challenging your thoughts is called cognitive restructuring, and it's a technique used in cognitive behaviour therapy.

Source

Challenging your thoughts

Today, I'm gonna show you how to challenge cognitive distortions, and this involves using a thought record.

Challenging your thoughts is called cognitive restructuring, and it's a technique used in cognitive behaviour therapy. You can do this on your own, but of course it works better when you have a therapist, guiding you and helping you work through it.


Source

How to Challenge

You do this in two stages.

The first stage is to recognize the thought and record it, and the second is to challenge the thought.

So, how do you recognize an automatic thought?
Start with when you first noticed feeling low or some other negative emotion, like anger. Take a minute to ask yourself, "What was going through my mind just then?" Then, pull out your thought record and write down the situation, the emotions and the body sensations you experienced, and the actual thoughts you had.

Another way to recognize this is when you notice a shift in your emotions, so not only just a negative emotion but when there's a change. And the shift is a sign that you may be, you may have interpreted something based on a distorted thought.

Source

How do you do it

Here's how you do it. For the situation, you wanna put the date and time. Then you wanna think about who you were with, what you were doing, and where you were.

Not down what was happening just before you noticed the shift in your emotions. Now, you may not have time to write an essay, but being able to capture just even a few details can help you fill this out more later.

Then, next, you wanna describe your emotions and your body sensations. What did you actually feel? You can usually write an emotion in one word, like angry, humiliated, empty.

Do you have trouble recognizing your emotions? That's a separate issue. Now you wanna rate the strength of the emotion from zero to 100%, and this number is your own estimation so just so that you have a way to quantify your feelings.

The last thing you wanna do is record what you felt. Did you feel a lump in your throat, head pain, butterflies in your stomach? Then you wanna record your thoughts or images that went through your mind just before you had the change in what you were feeling.

Some questions that you can ask yourself to get at this are things like

  • What were you saying to yourself?
  • How did that situation affect your present or your future?
  • Was it threatening to you in some way?

Once you record your thought, rate how much you believe it on a scale of zero to 100. Zero means that you don't really believe it at all even though the though popped into your mind, and 100 would be that you completely believe it.

Source

Now, this is a lot of information to take down, and it takes practice to be able to observe yourself like this. It's not realistic that you can get down every thought, and you don't wanna even try for that, but the more you do it, the more automatic it can become.

Since you're trying to catch the thought as they happen, you may not be able to write all of this down at first, but you can still not down a few basic facts, then fill in the rest later. Then onto stage two, challenging your thoughts, and there's a few ways that you can do this.

Take one of the thoughts from your thought record and run it through a trial. The defence will argue that the thought is true and the prosecution argues that the thought is false. You will argue for both the defense and the prosecution, and then you'll act as the judge to make the final decision. For this exercise, you use this worksheet.

Start with the negative thought you had. If it's a question like, "Why am I such a failure?" turn it into a statement, "I'm a failure." If it's an image in your head, like the image of you losing your job, turn that image into a thought by answering the question, "What does that image say about me?" Maybe it says that your boss has it out for you. Then that becomes the thought for you to challenge.

Then, for the defence argument, write down the evidence that the thought is true. And you don't censor this. Just write down everything that you can think of that proves that what you think is true. Next, you write down evidence that the thought is false. And you wanna think about reasons why what you think may not apply 100% of the time.

And to figure this out, you can ask yourself these questions. Are there things about the situation that you didn't consider that affect how you think about it? What would you say to a friend who told you that they thought this? Has there ever been a time where this wasn't true? If so, what made it untrue?

Next, you present your case to the jury. It works best if you read it aloud.
Things just sound differently when they're said aloud than they do when it's just in your head. So, first you read the defence argument, then you read the prosecution's argument. Now you reach a verdict.

You can say, "Given all the evidence, "here's the fairest way to sum up the situation." You're looking for a way to balance both sides. Is the evidence clear and convincing for one side over the other?

Challenge your mind as much as you challenge your body.

Now reflect on your new thought. How is it different than the original thought? Can you recognize what kind of automatic thought you had? Recognizing what kind of
automatic thought you had is another approach to restructuring your thoughts.


You don't have to label your thoughts for this exercise of running your thoughts through a jury, but if you're able to recognize what kind of cognitive distortion it is,
it can help you be more aware of how you think so you can break the pattern of responding automatically.

Challenge your mind

5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Challenge your mind

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 pratik987

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)