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  • Kevin Patton

When you feel distressed

Updated: Sep 17, 2019

STOPP! Stop, take a breath, don't react automatically

Ask yourself:

 What am I reacting to?

 What is it that's really pushing my buttons here?

 What is it that I think is going to happen here?

 What's the worst (and best) that could happen? What's most likely to happen?

 Am I getting things out of proportion?

 How important is this really? How important will it be in 6 months time?

 What harm has actually been done?

 Am I expecting something from this person or situation that is unrealistic?

 Am I overestimating the danger?

 Am I underestimating my ability to cope?

 Am I using that negative filter? Looking at life through gloomy specs? Is there another way of looking at it?

 What advice would I give to someone else in this situation?

 Am I spending time ruminating about the past or worrying about the future? What could I do right now that would help me feel better?

 Am I putting more pressure on myself, setting up expectations of myself that are almost impossible? What would be more realistic?

 Am I mind-reading what others might be thinking?

 Am I believing I can predict the future?

 Is there another way of looking at this?

 What advice would I give someone else in this situation?

 Am I putting more pressure on myself?

 Just because I feel bad, doesn't mean things really are bad.

 Am I jumping to conclusions about what this person meant? Am I mis-reading between the lines? Is it possible that they didn't mean that?

 Am I exaggerating the good aspects of others, and putting myself down? Or am I

exaggerating the negative and minimising the positives? How would someone else see it? What’s the bigger picture?

 Things aren’t either totally white or totally black – there are shades of grey. Where is this on the spectrum?

 This is just a reminder of the past. That was then, and this is now. Even though this memory makes me feel upset, it’s not actually happening again right now.

 What do I want or need from this person or situation? What do they want or need from me? Is there a compromise?

 What would be the consequences of responding the way I usually do?

 Is there another way of dealing with this? What would be the most helpful and effective action to take? (for me, for the situation, for the other person)

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