Tools to Untwist Your Thinking

10 Ways to Untwist Your Thinking

1. Identify the Distortion:

Write down your negative thoughts so you can see how your thinking has gotten twisted


2. Examine the Evidence:

Instead of assuming that your negative thought is true, examine the actual evidence for it


3. The Double-Standard Method:

Instead of putting yourself down in a harsh, condemning way, talk to yourself in the same way you would talk to a friend with a similar problem.


4. The Experimental Technique:

Work through all the likeliest actual outcomes to test the strength of your negative thought.


5. Thinking in Shades of Grey:

Instead of thinking about your problem as an all-or-nothing extreme, evaluate things on a scale of 0 – 100. When things don’t work out as well as you have hoped, think about it as a partial success rather than a complete failure. Examine what you can learn from the experience.


6. The Survey Method:

Ask people you trust questions to find out if your thoughts and attitudes are realistic.


7. Define Terms:

When you label yourself “inferior” or “a fool”, ask yourself “what is the definition of a fool?” It’s likely that you don’t fit your own definition of the words you’re using for yourself.


8. The Semantic Method:

Substitute language that is less colourful and emotionally loaded. Instead of telling yourself “i should have…” say “next time I know to…”


9. Re-Attribution:

Instead of automatically assuming that you’re “bad” and blaming yourself entirely for a problem, think about all the factors that may have contributed to it. Focus on solving the problem, rather than just using all your energy blaming yourself.


10. Cost-Benefit Analysis:

List the advantages and disadvantages of indulging a negative thought or behaviour pattern.