How to Restore Misconstrued Thoughts to Reality

  • How to steer away from negative thoughts: Your thoughts, feelings, behavior, and physiology are all interconnected. In cognitive behavior therapy, to positively change all aspects, we work with behavior and thoughts. In order to do this, we must record a thought diary.
    • Thought Diary: A thought diary is used to record events, feelings, and thoughts, so that you may pinpoint the underlying thoughts that are causing negative feelings and actions. Most of the time our thoughts are misconstrued and unrealistic. We see things subjectively and create up “lies” that we want to believe. In reality, our thoughts are not always true. Ie. We may think people are staring at us and then we result to the idea that they are staring because we are ugly. This is a misconstrued thought. You’ll record:
      • Activating Event: an actual event or situation, a thought, mental picture, or physical trigger that leads you to feel and think unpleasantly.
      • Consequences: Write down words describing how you feel and jot down any physical sensations you felt or actions that you carried out.
      • Beliefs: List the thoughts that went through your head that link with the activating event and your consequences. Ask yourself, “what was I saying to myself?”  “What was going through my head at the time?” Make sure to understand the underlying thoughts, so you may feel uneasy at a public event because you’re thinking people are staring at you. But, understand the underlying thought: “why do you think people are staring at you?” Because, “I probably look bad so that must mean – I’m ugly.” This way you can identify your negative thoughts and the source of depressed, anxiety, uneasy moods or physiological aches and pains, and thus, begin the healing.

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