20 Questions to ask yourself when challenging your thoughts

Today a client asked me, 'how do I fight my thoughts and turn off my mind?'. It's a question I hear a lot! 

I told them firstly, Mindfulness and meditation helps for momentary relief and can start building a general tendency towards stillness and silence.

However I also feel it's useful to work through your thoughts turning  negatives into neutral or better still, positive.

I created this list of questions based on popular CBT questions to help you wade through the forest of tangled thoughts when it arrives.

I do hope it's useful!

1. What is the belief?
2. What am I so afraid of?
3. Is it true?
4. What evidence is there that it's true?
5. What evidence is there is it isn't true?
6. So what if it is true? How bad is it really?
7.  What's the worse case scenario - specifically and realistically?
8. Will you survive it? Will it kill or maim you? Realistically what will happen.
9. What is the nature of the people involved? Are they truly as judgemental, unkind, dis compassionate, cruel as your fears make them out to be? If Yes - see 11.
10. Knowing the people involved, is the fear valid?

Questions about Negative People

11. How much do you care about the judgment/opinion of a negative person?
12. Is there a reason they may feel this way that has nothing to do with you personally (e.g. their personal history, upbringing, past events, insecurities?)
13. Is there a way you can be compassionate towards them?
14. Is there a way you are perhaps stronger or more emotionally and spiritually developed in some way than this person?
15. Is there a way to see this with compassion?

Practical thinking

15. What action can be taken? (even if it's just taking time out to rest and meditate)
16. What decision can be made today?
17. What would you like to happen?
18. What would you like to be/feel/do that this belief or fear is holding you back from?
19. What small step would be enough to feel you are heading in a positive direction?
20. Do you feel better?

So, there you have it. I hope you find these questions useful and would love to know how you got on.


If you're local to Thame or don't mind using Skype, Life Coaching with me starts at £50 per 50 minutes. Get in touch at stephanieclarksonthereapies@outlook.com