The questions below are from “cogntive therapy”. Cognitive therapy is a type of psychotherapy based on the belief that are feelings are the results of our thoughts.
If you think you won the lottery, you feel great. If you think you just lost a chunk of your retirement savings, you feel bad.
There is the belief in cognitive therapy that people can be happier by replacing their irrational thoughts with more rational and realistic thinking.
Cognitive therapy has been clinically proven to be as effective, if not more effective than drugs for many psychological issues. The questions below are a standard set of cognitive therapy questions to be asked by a person who feels disturbed. When feeling disturbed the person would write down the thoughts that automatically come to them. Then s/he would go through them one by one asking themselves these questions about those thoughts. The process is to be repeated over days, weeks, etc until some of the issues are settled.
I got this list of questions from a book on a holistic program for insomnia, all verified by research, written by a researcher associated with Harvard.
- Is this thought really true?
- Am I overemphasizing a negative aspect of this situation?
- What is the worst thing that will happen?
- Is there anything that might be positive about this situation?
- Am I jumping to conclusions and assuming a negative outcome?
- How do I know the situation will turn out this way?
- Is there another way to look at this situation?
- What difference will this make next week, next month, or next year?
- If I had one month to live, how important would this be?
- Am I “awfulizing”, that is, am I using words like “never”,
“worst”, “terrible”, or “horrible” that are making the situation seem worse than it is?
- Am I investing my emotions in expectations that may not turn out as I expect them to? Am using words like “should”, “must”, …etc ?
- Has anything like this happened to me before? How did it turn out? Did things work out eventually?
- What would I say to and think of a friend in the same situation? Am I being harder on myself or more unrealistic for myself?