Trigger Thoughts, Thought Diffusion, and Coping Thoughts.

 

Trigger thoughts are those thoughts that cause emotional pain and suffering, if you get stuck on your trigger thoughts, you probably experience overwhelming emotions more frequently than other people, but we all experience trigger thoughts from time to time. These thoughts might be the criticisms of parents and guardians that we have carried from childhood, or they may be self-criticisms that we have self-generated.

Examples of Trigger Thoughts:

I am a failure

I don’t do anything right

I am useless

I am a burden

No one could love me

There’s something wrong with me

Everyone always leaves me

People will always hurt me

I don’t deserve to be happy

Other ideas: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

Thought diffusion and coping thoughts can be effective and powerful ways of dealing with trigger thoughts.

 

Thought Diffusion

 

Thought Diffusion is a strategy that will enable you to let go of thoughts and overwhelming emotions.  This skill requires the exercise of imagination as you visualise your thoughts and emotions as either words or pictures floating gently away from you without judgement, analysis, or clinging.

Some people prefer to imagine their thoughts drifting away down a stream, or floating away on clouds, or perhaps you would prefer to see them written in the sand being gently washed away by the tide.

 

Coping Thoughts

Coping thoughts are thoughts that you can draw on to self soothe when id distressing situations. Coping thoughts are thoughts that will remind you of your assets, your strengths, your past successes, and some more general thoughts about the world and life.  Below is a list of coping thoughts you can draw on or create your own. It can be useful to write these down and perhaps keep them available on cards in a wallet, on the fridge, or by the mirror.  The more often you use these affirming thoughts the naturally and automatically they will come.

Examples of Coping Thoughts:

This too shall pass

Mistakes happen, nobody is perfect

It’s okay to feel sad/afraid sometimes

I am not in danger right now

I am strong and I can deal with this one day at a time

This situation won’t last forever

These are my feelings that ebb and flow like waves

I let it go

I can think different thoughts if I choose to

I can deal with this situation whilst also feeling powerful emotions

I have survived situations like this before, and I will survive this too

I am learning and it’s okay to make mistakes

I do not need to rely solely on others to provide my sense of worth

Other Ideas: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………


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