Psychological Self-Help

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1203
To learn how to deal with one emotion experienced in many
different stressful circumstances which you expect to face in
the near future, including family, school, work, friends and so
on. In this case you might list 15 or 20 situations that upset
you, arranged from mild to intense stress or anger or
submissiveness. Then learn to deal with the mildest first and
work down the list, as in desensitization (method #4). 
To learn how to deal with a specific emotional situation, usually
a scary or irritating one. Several case illustrations are given. 
Steps
STEP ONE: Plan how to reduce the unwanted emotion by using
thoughts, imagination, and self-instructions
This first step is an educational process: learning a variety of
mental processes that can influence emotions. Cognitive theory
emphasizes that emotions reflect how we appraise the situation, our
expectations, our beliefs about others' motives and our interpretation
of our physiological reactions, i.e. our thoughts determine our feelings.
We need to understand this in detail. 
Learn about Rational-Emotive Therapy (RET) and challenging
irrational ideas (see method #3 in chapter 14). Ideas can produce
emotions; changing our thinking (these ideas) can change our
emotions. Consider these examples of how our ideas, automatic
thoughts, attributions, conclusions, judgments, beliefs and self-
statements can create anger within us: (remember these are not
examples of things really said to another person; they are thoughts
you might have about another person.) 
Intolerant thoughts--"I hate pushy people...stupid
workers...stuck up people." More reasonable--"I understand
them." 
High expectations--"This person (thoughts about a child, an
employee, a student,...) should have known better...worked
harder...been honest about it." More reasonable--"Sorry it
worked out this way; can I help this person do better?" 
Punitive beliefs--"That was such an awful thing this person did,
I feel like beating up on him/her...firing him/her...telling
everyone." More reasonable--"I know this person had reasons
for what he/she did, but can I help make sure it never happens
again?" 
Wounded pride thinking--"Your spreading gossip about me
really hurt, I'm going to tell everyone what a nasty person you
are." More reasonable--"I felt hurt and betrayed, but I can
handle that." 
Anger-producing, put-down, automatic thoughts--"You're
deliberately being mean...who the hell do you think you
are...you're a creep...you don't give a damn about me." Also,
thinking of how you would like to hurt the other person only
makes you more angry and irrational. More reasonable--"I'm
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