Great name, right? Project Happily Ever After, a website/blog run by Alisa Bowman, a professional writer, was brought to my attention by a reader of this blog. Alisa's readers love her blog about her marriage and life with her family because it's fresh and very real. Alisa has ghost written and read a ton of self-help books. She is smart, genuine and has learned a lot along the way. Alisa shares how her marriage was once in dire jeopardy, how she and her husband learned to reconnect and fall in love all over again. Her sense of humor is self-deprecating and funny!
In this post she describes how she tackles those pesky negative thoughts that can bring her down. It's all very consistent with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I thought you might enjoy a down to earth use of a basic CBT technique. Alison's take:
"Researchers know that depressive people like me tend to see the
world through a negative lens. For instance, on an unusually hot day in
the summer, a well-adjusted person might think, “This is a perfect pool
day!” A depressive person like me will think, “Definitely global
warming. The world is going to end soon.”
Years ago, a therapist taught me that I needed to counter my
unrealistic negativity by constantly feeding myself more positive,
realistic thoughts. At first, I didn’t think it would work, but she
told me that was just my Negative Voice talking. Don’t you hate when
your therapist has an answer for every excuse like that?
Anyway, I tried this positive affirmation business, and it worked amazingly well."
Some examples of Alison's positive self-talk are….
When Life Feels Too Hard
“Everything always works out eventually. This will, too. And if it
doesn’t work out, that means I’m dead, so it won’t matter anyway.”
“Anything is possible, even this.”
“Just put one foot in front of the other.”
When I’m Too Scared to Take a Risk
“It’s better to try and fail than to not try at all.”
“I need to do this. Otherwise I’ll always wonder, ‘What if I’d had the courage?’”
When I’m Wallowing in Self Pity
“Build a bridge and get over it.”
“There are much worse things than this.”
“This, too, shall pass.”
When I Feel Overwhelmed
“I’ll get it all done. I just might not get it all done today.”
“Am I really going to care about this when I am on my deathbed?”
When I Feel Like a Good-for-Nothing Loser that My Own Dog Doesn’t Love
“I’m definitely going to get my period tomorrow.”
When I’m Mad at My Husband
“Someone has to be the big person here. He’s obviously not going to be that person, so it’s going to have to be me.”
When I Feel Mean Mommy About to Surface
“If I die of a massive heart attack right now, do I really want my last words to be, “Stop acting like such a brat”?”
“Just close your mouth and walk away from the child.”
See how easy talking back to those downer thoughts can be? Nothing fancy to it. In fact a lot of these can be cut and pasted into your own positive self-talk journal. Borrowing is totally allowed in CBT. I know I'll be using some of these!
Visit Alison's website Project Happily Ever After.
Read the entire article: How do You Talk to Yourself Through Hard Times?
Photo courtesy of antonychammond via Flickr