Created by the Center for Spirituality & Healing and Charlson Meadows.

Identify Stressful Thinking Habits

The first step in letting go of mental habits or patterns of thinking that may be causing you stress is identifying them.

Try this:

  • Pay attention to patterns or habits of thinking that feel problematic or time-consuming in your day (such as generalizing, comparing, placing conditions, projecting, self-diminishing, or defending).
  • Write these down in a notebook (or your journal if you have one).
  • Make a note when you think that way. Record the time, circumstances, and place, as well as what triggered the thought.

For the next 3 days, observe and record your habits of thinking as described above.  Then, reflecting on your observations, complete this sentence: 

“If I choose to let go of my _______(e.g. judgments, expectations, desires…), I would be clearer and more present to my current experience.”  Be as specific as possible.

More about becoming aware of your stressors and reactions

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