February 2, 2011

It’s Time to Fight Back!

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:20 am by kellyfdennis

By now, that nasty Girl inside your head might be making comments such as, “this isn’t working; this is boring; this is too hard.”  She’s getting worried.  Remember, she doesn’t want to be silenced.  On some level she’s worried that you won’t get your needs met without her, or that the psychological pain you’ll feel when she’s quiet will be too great.  Vigilance is the key here.  Keep at it.  Continue to identify her voice; talk back to her with the balanced view of yourself list; identify the cognitive distortions that you may be making.  The next step in the process is to actively challenge the messages she’s sending you.

 I mentioned creating a “healthy voice”; today we’ll begin to use that “healthy voice” to challenge the nasty girl.  As I mentioned previously, this healthy voice can be a trusted friend, a compassionate mentor, a beloved teacher.  It can be a real person from the past or present, or someone you’ve created.  This healthy voice will be rational, objective, supportive, and compassionate. The objective is to “hear” the healthy voice talking when you challenge the Nasty Girl.

In order to begin challenging the negative messages, it is helpful to return to the thought log exercise.  This time create five columns on a piece of paper.  When you notice that you are experiencing a negative mood change (remember it can be a subtle shift in mood), write down the situation in the first column.  In the second column write down the thoughts you are having (the messages from the Nasty Girl); the third column is for recording the emotions you are experiencing.  The fourth column is a new column.  In this column rate the intensity of the emotion at that moment, on a scale from 0-100. In the fifth column write down any errors in thinking (from yesterday’s blog) you may be making.

Eventually, you’ll challenge all the negative messages from the Nasty Girl, but for now, pick the thoughts on your log that created the highest emotional rating. Now, using the “healthy voice”, look at those thoughts (messages from the Nasty Girl) and answer some of the following questions about that thought:

  • What evidence is there that the thought is true? 
  • What evidence is there that the thought is not true?
  • Is there an alternative explanation?
  • What’s the worst that could happen? Could I live through it?
  • What’s the best that could happen?
  • What’s the effect of my believing what the Nasty Girl is saying?
  • What would be the effect if I didn’t believe her?

When you first begin to do this, you won’t really believe the challenging statements.  The Nasty Girl will say back “Yes, but…”. That’s normal, just keep at it. Tomorrow I’ll give you an example of a completed thought log and the healthy voice challenge statements.

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ponderings on life, food, God, and love

Grace on the Moon

Do Not Weigh Your Self-Esteem on a Scale

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