Basic beliefs are statements about ourselves, other people, or the world. They represent the roots of our underlying assumptions and automatic thoughts. They are positive or negative. You can recognize them by questioning the motives of your actions or by forming sentences like: “I am…”, “other people are…”, “the world is…”. New, positive thought beliefs can be reinforced by documenting experiences that are consistent with them, assessing confidence in behaviors associated with the beliefs, and conducting behavioral experiments to test these beliefs.
Core beliefs change and become stronger over time. They exert a major influence on how we think, feel, and behave.
In order to understand and positively influence our own feelings, we must first identify them. Strong feelings are a sign that something important is happening in your life. Identifying these feelings helps you set goals and track their progress.
Feelings can often be described with a single word. It can be helpful to compile a list of feelings.
Make a list with several emotions and their definitions that help you to identify your emotions; you can also google for this online
As we have learned our emotions are linked to thoughts, it might help you to get a better overview of your emotional reactions when you write a diary about this. You can keep it simple when you make notes in situations you are reacting emotional. If you want you can also add a time or a day to clearify if this emotion always happen in a special time or day.
Once you have identified a feeling, it is also important to assess the intensity of a feeling. So you can observe mood swings, or react to unpleasant feelings. For this purpose a scaling helps:
A thought log can help you analyze your thoughts more closely: How are my thoughts connected to feelings? What is fact and what is my interpretation? How do I recognize automatic thoughts? The following examples will help you to write your own thought protocol.
1. Connect thoughts to emotions
|I am stupit, I will never understand that.||Depression|
|They will fire me for being late||Fear|
2. Fact vs. Interpretation
|Thought||Interpretation or Fact|
|She always looks at me critically||Interpretation|
|Her facial expression changed||Fact|