Use the ABCDE model to address pessimistic thoughts


  1. Identify the adversity. Think about a recent situation that didn't go well or made you feel down. For example, if you and your husband had a date night but ended up arguing about little things all evening.
  2. Recognize the belief. Take a moment to acknowledge the thoughts and beliefs that popped into your mind during that situation. Write them down. For instance, you might have thought, "Something's seriously wrong with our relationship. We're headed for divorce, and I'll have to raise our child alone."
  3. Acknowledge the consequences. Reflect on how those thoughts made you feel and the consequences they had. Did you feel sad, disappointed, or worried? Did it affect your ability to enjoy the evening? Write them down.
  4. Dispute the belief. Question those initial thoughts and consider alternative perspectives. Using the sample situation above, you may remind yourself, "Maybe our expectations were too high considering the sleepless nights and challenges of being new parents. One argument doesn't mean our relationship is doomed. We've been through tough times before and came out stronger. I shouldn't let outside influences dictate my view of our relationship."
  5. Experience the energization. Notice the positive changes in your emotions and mindset after disputing those negative beliefs. In this case, you could say, "I started feeling better and more focused on my husband. I even shared my concerns about breastfeeding, which led to laughter and a deeper connection. We decided to view that dinner as a practice run and plan another date night for next week."


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