Monday, March 11, 2013

Recognizing Automatic Negative Thoughts

Do you suffer from negative thought patterns?  (samskaras)
In The Mindful Way Through Depression,  by Williams, Teasdale, Segal and Kabat-Zinn, the authors offer the following practice:

"The following is the same list of automatic thoughts reported by people who were currently depressed that we saw in Chapter 1.
1-I feel like I'm up against the world
2-I'm no good
3-Why can't I ever succeed?
4-No one understands me.
5-I've let people down
6-I don't think I can go on
7-I wish I were a better person
8-I'm so weak
9-My life's not going the way I want to.
10-I'm so disappointed in myself
11-Nothing feels good anymore.
12-I can't stand this anymore
13-I can't get started
14-What's wrong with me?
15-I wish I were somewhere else
16-I can't get things together
17-I hate myself
18-I'm worthless
19-I wish I could just disappear
20-What's the matter with me
21-I'm a loser
22-My life is a mess
23-I'm a failure
24-I'll never make it.
25-I feel so helpless
26-Something has to change
27-There must be something wrong with me.
28-My future is bleak
29-It's just not worth it.
30-I can't finish anything
As you look at the thoughts on the list, think about how strongly, if at all, you would believe each of the thoughts if it popped into your head RIGHT NOW.
When you have finished, think back to a time when you were at your most depressed and then return once more to the list.  Think now about how strongly you would have believed each of those thoughts had they occurred AT THAT TIME"

If you've ever struggled with depression, or if you know someone who has, I recommend you read The Mindful Way Through Depression.  It might just change your life.

No comments:

Post a Comment