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If you’d like to get a better handle on the kinds of negative thoughts that you tend to default to, then take our negative thinking test, which draws upon questions from the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire.
After you take the test, read below for more on automatic negative thoughts.
Taking the time to identify your negative thoughts and learn to capture them in the moment is definitely worth the effort.
-Dr. Jason Holland, Lifespark
Part of what makes changing unwanted thought patterns so difficult is that automatic negative thoughts can pop in and out of our awareness in a matter of milliseconds.
Reflecting back on them later can feel like trying to take a selfie in the dark with a shaky camera. Somehow everything comes out blurry and incomplete.
Despite this challenge, taking the time to identify your negative thoughts and learn to capture them in the moment is definitely worth the effort. After all, how can you really begin to change negative patterns of thinking if you don’t even know what you’re up against?
One helpful way to begin the process is to take a inventory of the kinds of negative thoughts and beliefs that tend to live in your head space and then see if you can notice yourself having the thought in real-time.
If you’re struggling with negative thoughts, come back for tomorrow’s exercise focusing on the most pervasive types of thinking traps and ways to free yourself from them.
For now, though, let us know in the comments below what kinds of negative automatic thoughts are most common for you. How have you been able to work with them productively?