At a time when our existential fear is going wild – thank you, coronavirus pandemic – many of us have tried to learn how to deal with it. Fortunately, there are a variety of therapeutic mechanisms with which we can equip ourselves to deal with existential anxious thoughts. And even though there is a lot we can't control right now, it's a great place to relieve the burden a bit if you drown in a sea of fear.
Before we look at what that means, let's talk about why it is necessary to "reformulate our thoughts" at all. As people with feelings and fears, we often have the habit of assuming that our thoughts are automatically true when we are all susceptible to unhealthy and unhelpful thought patterns known as cognitive biases. We'll go over some specific examples throughout the article, but the most important thing we should know above is that when our emotions are involved, our brains can become annoying liars and distort reality, making us feel worse.
These cognitive biases are the primary goal of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), an action-oriented type of talk therapy that helps you identify and correct the negative thought patterns that affect your mental health. Refreshing your thoughts is pretty much the MVP of your CBT toolkit. "The idea of reformulating your thoughts begins with accepting that not all of your thoughts are true just because you have them," said licensed clinical psychologist and founder of Long Island Behavioral Regine Galanti, Ph.D., towards SELF. “A thought is like sunglasses. When you look at the world with sunglasses, things look a little different. Refreshing your thoughts is like taking off your sunglasses or putting on another pair with a different lens. They ask: "How can I see it differently?"
So let's talk about a few different answers to this question. Keep in mind that certain tips are more helpful in one situation than another, and what works best for someone else may not help you that much. Refreshing your thoughts in a way that feels helpful and believable to you is a deeply personalized experience, so it may take some trial and error. With that in mind, here are a few things you can try.
. Write down your thoughts.
To rephrase your thoughts, you first need to know what you are thinking. If it is a new skill for you to reformulate your thoughts, awareness is an important first step. "If you feel a strong feeling like fear in the pit of your stomach, stop and ask," What am I thinking? "Then write it down," says Galanti. Not only does this give you something solid to work with when it comes to redesign, it can also give you a log of what thought patterns you fall into over time. In addition, avoiding a thought rather than addressing it directly can often make you more anxious, says Galanti, so recognizing it by writing it down can be anxiety-reducing in and of itself.  2. Start checking yourself.
Many cognitive biases force us to believe thoughts that are not true. So try to get into the habit of asking yourself, "What is the evidence I have for this thought?" This will improve your ability to better identify and quickly end the lies your fear tells you, says Galanti.
Maybe you turn around and think, “I have to go to the grocery store, but when I go I get sick. "However, you assume that the worst-case scenario, which is also called catastrophic, will occur. To rephrase this idea, you could first ask:" Okay, what evidence do I have that I will definitely get sick, when I go to the store? "In response, you can remember the security measures in place (such as stores that limit the number of people who can access at the same time) and preventive tools that are available to you (eg using hand disinfectants as soon as you leave the store and then washing your hands as soon as you get home.