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Don't let the stress get the better of you

Dealing with Stress – 5 Irrational Thought Patterns to Avoid

Avoid Stress
[cortisol is corrosive to the body]: (a) choose a job that helps you avoid
freeway commuting or any commute that takes longer than one hour each way; (b)
Observe the following rules for dealing with stressful situations:

(count to ten) before taking any specific action;

Perform a deep-breathing exercise and/or muscle relaxation;

Write down on a pad of paper other possible ways of
interpreting an adverse event that does not force you to be the culprit or
“at fault”;

List all the constructive ways to respond to this
anxiety-provoking event.

The following table lists five examples of irrational thought patterns that are
known to produce continuing anxiety:




Catastrophizing — Exaggerating the
harmful effects of something that just happened to you

your boss offers mild criticism, you’re sure you’ll be fired.

Personalizing — Seeing yourself as the
cause of an otherwise random event

child fails a test, and you assume that you must be a bad parent.

All-or-Nothing Thinking — Reducing complex
situations to black and white

know that you’re not perfect, so you must be a “total” loser.

Overgeneralization — Interpreting one
unpleasant situation as part of an endless pattern with, say, your parents or
ex-spouses as the root cause

you are turned down for a date, you’re sure everyone will reject you

Mental Filtering — Focusing on the bad
elements of a situation while neglecting the positive elements

about a “D” in Math when all of your other grades were B or

— Written by Dr. L. Stephen Coles, 2012

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