What Is Thought Challenging?

December 8, 2022

Thought challenging is a simple cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) technique for reducing anxiety. Anxiety causes unhelpful thinking patterns that can have us fixating on threats, uncertainty, and negativity. This thought challenging practice can help us broaden our focus and include the bigger picture.

Try The THINK Thought Challenging Technique

Is It True?

Is my thought 100% true? If not, how can I separate facts from opinion?

It is important to separate facts from opinion because it can help reduce anxiety. The first step is to think of the thought that causes anxiety and ask yourself, “Is it true?” If not, then there is no need to worry about the thought.

This separation of facts and opinions can be applied in many different scenarios. For example, a person might be anxious about their health and think that they have cancer. If they ask themselves “Is it true?” They will see that a doctor has told them they don’t have cancer. This will reduce their anxiety because they know that their thoughts are not 100% true.

The goal of this exercise is not to change your thoughts, but to help you understand your thought process and how it affects your emotions.

Is It Helpful?

Is paying attention to the though useful to me or others?

When you are feeling anxious, it is helpful to ask yourself “is this thought useful?” It is not about changing your thoughts, but about reducing the anxiety by paying attention to the thought and asking yourself if it is useful.

A thought is helpful if it provides the person with a sense of purpose or meaning. If the thought does not provide any of these things, then it may be a good idea to ignore or challenge that thought.

Is It Inspiring?

Does the thought inspire me or does it have the opposite effect?

When we are anxious, it is difficult to think of anything that will inspire us. If we can’t think of anything, then it’s time to look at our environment and see what is around us.

If you are feeling anxious about a decision, ask yourself if the thought inspires you or has the opposite effect. If the thought does not inspire you, then try to find something in your surroundings that will.

Asking this question can help us be less anxious and more confident. The reason is that it forces us to think about what inspires us and what doesn’t. We will then know how to deal with our anxiety in a healthy way.

Is It Necessary?

Is it important for me to focus on this thought? Is it necessary to act on it?

In order to reduce anxiety, it is important to ask oneself whether it is necessary to focus on the thought. If the answer is no, then it can be a sign that one should let go of the thought and try not worry about it.

Think about what’s necessary and what’s not. Do you need to act on this thought? Is it necessary for you to focus on this thought? If the answer is no, then it might be best to try and challenge that thought.

Is It Kind?

Is the thought kind to you or others? If not what would be a kinder thought?

When we find ourselves in a stressful situation, it is important to think about the thoughts that are coming out of our heads. Ask yourself, “Is this thought kind?” If not, what would be a kinder thought?

This technique helps people to identify and change their negative thoughts into more positive ones.

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