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Child & Youth Mental Health Algorithm - GPSC

Child & Youth Mental Health Algorithm - GPSC

REALISTIC THINKING

REALISTIC THINKING FORMSituationFeeling(0 –10)0 = no emotion10 = mostintense emotionAnxious ThoughtsRealistic ThoughtsFeeling afterRealisticThinking(0-10)© AnxietyBC 2

REALISTIC THINKINGWe can all be bogged down by negative thinking from time to time, such as callingourselves mean names (e.g., “idiot”, “loser”), thinking no one likes us, expectingsomething, terrible will happen, or believing that we can’t overcome something no matterhow hard we try. This is normal. No one thinks positively all of the time, particularly whenfeeling anxious.When we are anxious, we tend to see the world as a threatening and dangerous place.This reaction makes sense, because imagining the worst can help you to prepare forreal danger, enabling you to protect yourself. For example, if you are home alone andyou hear a strange scratching sound at the window, you might think it’s a burglar. If youbelieve that it’s a burglar, you will become very anxious and prepare yourself to eitherrun out of the house, fight off an attack, or run to the phone and call for help. Althoughthis anxious response is helpful if there actually is a burglar at the window, it is not sohelpful if your thought was wrong: for example, it might be a tree branch scratching thewindow. In this case, your thoughts were wrong because there was no real danger.The problem with thinking and acting as if there is danger when there is no real dangeris that you feel unnecessarily anxious. Therefore, one effective strategy to manage youranxiety is to replace anxious, negative thinking with realistic thinking.Realistic thinking means looking at all aspects of asituation (the positive, the negative, and the neutral)before making conclusions. In other words, realisticthinking means looking at yourself, others, and the worldin a balanced and fair way.How to Do ItStep 1: Pay attention to your self-talkThoughts are the things that we say to ourselves without speaking out loud (self-talk).We can have many thoughts every hour of the day. We all have our own way of thinkingabout things, and how we think has a big effect on how we feel. When we think thatsomething bad will happen – such as being bitten by a dog – we feel anxious.© AnxietyBC 1

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