The elements of lifestyle

Reflection: cognitive restructuring

Cognitive restructuring is a core technique of cognitive-behavioral therapy. When you’re struggling with overly negative thinking patterns or you no longer believe in yourself, this can be helpful. It forces you to notice bad mental habits and replace them with better ones.

How does cognitive restructuring work?

  • Your mental space becomes better organized, which makes you feel better.
  • It forces you to slow down your thought process so you start having fewer thoughts. Your stress is reduced as a result.
  • It helps you become more aware of your thoughts and emotional reactions. This is an essential step in eventually changing them.
  • It gives you a sense of choice and control.
  • It helps you think more clearly and rationally. It encourages you to question and examine your way of thinking making you aware of the errors or mistakes in your way of thinking.
  • It helps you to reflect rather than react immediately. By always reacting without thinking, you deprive yourself of the opportunity to better understand your mind and learn how it works.
  • It breaks bad mental habits. The key to breaking those habits is to notice when you want to do these habits than to start replacing them with other behaviors.

Positive effects

More productive

Assertive

More optimistic

More outlook

More self-confidence

Preventing procrastination

Try it out in 6 steps

  1. Press the pause button on an emerging thought
  2. Identify the trigger: who, what, when, where
  3. Notice your automatic thoughts
  4. Identify your emotional reaction and notice how intense it is
  5. Generate alternative thoughts
  6. Re-evaluate the intensity of your emotional reaction

In the workbook, we explain these six steps in more detail. You will find a template to do this exercise easily.

Good luck!

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