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.