Write what you think

Cognitive behavioral scientists developed the following five-step process to help you minimize this thinking style as follows:

1. Write down the stress-producing event objectively. Then write the worst case. I call it a “brain dump”. It’s already in your head and you won’t be able to balance your thinking until you catch all your unadorned worst-case thoughts.

2. Think about how you can maximize any upside potential.

3. Positive emotions may seem misguided in this process, but they are strongly linked to resilience and help calm the anxiety you may feel with this style of thinking.

4. List What’s Most Likely – This is our most balanced approach. The trick is not to list all the positives, but to be more unbiased in your assessment of the situation.

5. Write our action plan: what specific action steps do you control and what can you do next?

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