Mental Health, Therapy, Toolkit

Reboot Your Brain (part 2 of the Reboot Your Life series)

This blog post is from the second in our Reboot Your Life video series (the first is Reboot Your Relationship, which is linked here: http://youtu.be/k_0uZudtT2g).

Today’s topic is Reboot Your Brain.

What I mean by that is looking at old ways of thinking that are not working for you – whether it is self criticism, judgment, comparing yourself to others, or finding yourself focusing on the negative – this blog will give you tips to help break free from old thought patterns and reboot your brain.

Thoughts are our inner message system, and they are generally going pretty much every moment of every day.  Our thoughts can lead to emotions, which can then lead to behavior. Taking some time to examine your thought process and decide whether or not it fits your preferred way of being in the world is a great first step toward .

One habit we can get into that is almost guaranteed to trip you up and lead to faulty thinking is believing that every thought you have is fact. Thoughts are just thoughts. They are not necessarily even true. But it’s easy to latch onto them as if they were fact, and that can lead into a negative cycle of thinking and feeling. A good way to break that habit is to begin to challenge your thoughts. If you think, for example, “I can’t complete this project. I am going to fail,” ask yourself “Is that true?” Well, no. It’s predicting the future, it’s setting yourself up for failure, and it probably comes from fear. If you can begin to dismantle thoughts like that, you can replace them with more accurate and healthy thinking. “This project is challenging. I may feel some anxiety or frustration, but I am going to give it my best shot.” Just a simple change can help you begin to rewire negative thinking patterns.

The goal is not only to eliminate negative thoughts, it’s to replace them with more healthy, accurate ways of thinking that will enhance your life and sense of wellbeing.

You can take this a step further. Keep a list of distorted thoughts. I have a list from Dr. David Burns for you to download from my website. If you recognize any of those patterns in yourself, you can write down the negative thought, then next to it write down a more preferred thought. “I’m fat and ugly” becomes “I could lose a few pounds to feel healthier, but I love myself for who I am inside and out.” It’s sort of like applying the idea of affirmations to unhelpful thoughts. It feels kind of awkward at first, but like anything, practice it regularly and it becomes part of you. I have also included a link to a thought chart to help you get started 🙂

Free tools can be downloaded here: http://www.fletchertherapy.com/forms.htm

Thanks for reading, and please visit our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/TalkTherapyChannel

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