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Recognizing the thought traps that negatively impact how
we feel.
The Power of Thought
Thoughts control how
people view themselves,
others and their
environment and this
impacts their mood and
behavior.
Living with Worry, Fear
& Uncertainty
• Most cancer survivors live with some
worry and uncertainty
• This may feel as if they have little
control over their lives.
• These feelings often change and get
better over time.
• Learning that these emotions are
normal can be helpful, but it does not
take away the work of learning to care
for yourself.
How do I…
1. Become more aware of
my distressing thoughts?
2. Let go of the struggle with
these negative thoughts?
3. Replace or learn to work
with my upsetting
thoughts?
Cognitive Behavioral
Therapy (CBT)
CBT is an evidence-based
psychotherapeutic approach that
focuses on the relationship
between a person’s present
thoughts, feelings and behavior.
• Academy of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies
Goals of connecting
thoughts, feelings
and behavior:
• Fine tuning self-awareness helps
us care for ourselves in smart and
effective ways.
• Building skills (tools) to recognize
narratives that are not helpful and
redirect our thinking gives us
psychological flexibility.
• Reduce the impact of stress and
anxiety
• Learn language to express
feelings and ask for support
INCREASING SELF-AWARENESS
How do you notice your stress?
Get to know
the narrative
WORRY
?
?
?
Pay Attention with Purpose
Thought Traps
Common Thought Traps
• Catastrophizing
• Shoulds (must or ought)
• Assumptions
• Jumping to conclusions
• Personalizing
• Filtering
• All or nothing
• Over-generalizing (always, never, everything,
nothing)
• Control fallacy
Strategy #1:
Separate from the
thought
Most of the time we live in a state of
automatically believing what we
think to be true.
When you recognize a distressing
thought can you pull away from it a
bit to see it differently?
• Say the thought out loud.
• Start with “I am having the
thought…”
• Add “I notice I am having the
thought…”
Strategy #2:
Balancing Thoughts
Negative thoughts can feel
critical, foreboding or
judgmental.
Balance your thinking.
Make room for opposite thoughts
in your mind.
• For every negative/upsetting
thought can you list FIVE value
or uplifting thoughts?
Strategy #3:
Soften the blow
When you “catch” an upsetting
thought ask yourself…
• “Would I say this outloud?”
• “Would I say this to a child?
• “Would I let someone speak
to my child in this way?”
Sometimes imaging someone
else’s face if they heard our
thinking can make a difference.
Strategy #4:
Redirect your Thinking
“What If?” to… “What Is.”
Take inventory of your present. What you
know for sure.
“What If?” to…. “What Else.”
Are there other possible truths?
“What If?” to… “Then What.”
Create a concrete plan for your worst case
scenarios.
“What If?” to… “What’s Left.”
Turn the lights on in the rest of the room.
What is available to you now?
Strategy #5:
Bucket your thoughts
Our thoughts can travel all over time and
space!
Noticing if a thought is past, present or future
oriented can help you find where you have
control.
Past Thoughts
Present Thoughts – where you can do
something
Future Thoughts – save for “Future Self”
TAKING BACK CONTROL
What are your triggers?
Listening in new ways
Journaling can be a way to better
understand your THOUGHT à
FEELING connection.
Try these prompts:
• What emotion(s) and I trying to avoid?
• Why am I trying to hide from this
emotion?
• What is preventing me for addressing
this feeling?
Find where you have control right now
• Talking about feelings
• Getting support
• Being involved in your health and wellbeing
• Following advice from your healthcare team
• Knowing when you need help
• Asking for help

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See it and Catch it! Recognizing the Thought Traps that Negatively Impact How We Feel

  • 1. Recognizing the thought traps that negatively impact how we feel.
  • 2. The Power of Thought Thoughts control how people view themselves, others and their environment and this impacts their mood and behavior.
  • 3. Living with Worry, Fear & Uncertainty • Most cancer survivors live with some worry and uncertainty • This may feel as if they have little control over their lives. • These feelings often change and get better over time. • Learning that these emotions are normal can be helpful, but it does not take away the work of learning to care for yourself.
  • 4. How do I… 1. Become more aware of my distressing thoughts? 2. Let go of the struggle with these negative thoughts? 3. Replace or learn to work with my upsetting thoughts?
  • 5. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) CBT is an evidence-based psychotherapeutic approach that focuses on the relationship between a person’s present thoughts, feelings and behavior. • Academy of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies
  • 6. Goals of connecting thoughts, feelings and behavior: • Fine tuning self-awareness helps us care for ourselves in smart and effective ways. • Building skills (tools) to recognize narratives that are not helpful and redirect our thinking gives us psychological flexibility. • Reduce the impact of stress and anxiety • Learn language to express feelings and ask for support
  • 7. INCREASING SELF-AWARENESS How do you notice your stress?
  • 8. Get to know the narrative
  • 11. Common Thought Traps • Catastrophizing • Shoulds (must or ought) • Assumptions • Jumping to conclusions • Personalizing • Filtering • All or nothing • Over-generalizing (always, never, everything, nothing) • Control fallacy
  • 12. Strategy #1: Separate from the thought Most of the time we live in a state of automatically believing what we think to be true. When you recognize a distressing thought can you pull away from it a bit to see it differently? • Say the thought out loud. • Start with “I am having the thought…” • Add “I notice I am having the thought…”
  • 13. Strategy #2: Balancing Thoughts Negative thoughts can feel critical, foreboding or judgmental. Balance your thinking. Make room for opposite thoughts in your mind. • For every negative/upsetting thought can you list FIVE value or uplifting thoughts?
  • 14. Strategy #3: Soften the blow When you “catch” an upsetting thought ask yourself… • “Would I say this outloud?” • “Would I say this to a child? • “Would I let someone speak to my child in this way?” Sometimes imaging someone else’s face if they heard our thinking can make a difference.
  • 15. Strategy #4: Redirect your Thinking “What If?” to… “What Is.” Take inventory of your present. What you know for sure. “What If?” to…. “What Else.” Are there other possible truths? “What If?” to… “Then What.” Create a concrete plan for your worst case scenarios. “What If?” to… “What’s Left.” Turn the lights on in the rest of the room. What is available to you now?
  • 16. Strategy #5: Bucket your thoughts Our thoughts can travel all over time and space! Noticing if a thought is past, present or future oriented can help you find where you have control. Past Thoughts Present Thoughts – where you can do something Future Thoughts – save for “Future Self”
  • 17. TAKING BACK CONTROL What are your triggers?
  • 18. Listening in new ways Journaling can be a way to better understand your THOUGHT à FEELING connection. Try these prompts: • What emotion(s) and I trying to avoid? • Why am I trying to hide from this emotion? • What is preventing me for addressing this feeling?
  • 19. Find where you have control right now • Talking about feelings • Getting support • Being involved in your health and wellbeing • Following advice from your healthcare team • Knowing when you need help • Asking for help