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A common exercise in CBT is to keep records of events which trigger negative thoughts and feelings and monitor how you deal with these.  These are adapted real examples.  Notice the power of evaluation in them. 

Date    

Monday 1st February

Situation - who are you with, where, what are you doing?    

With my wife and child, who have come out with me. Sightseeing in Madrid. 

Emotions:  Rate their strength (0-10)
Disappointed (9)  Frustrated with myself (10)

Thoughts:  How far do you believe them? 
I should be enjoying this, Madrid is a beautiful city and we are lucky to be here. Its a great perk of the job I should be grateful.  I can’t get the energy to do this anymore.  I wont bring them with me, this isn’t working.   (90%)

Behaviour: What did you do?
Continued sightseeing. I was irritable and critical of my daughter who wasn’t behaving. We went back to hotel for a rest.  My mood improved - talked with my wife, helped me recognised that Ellie is only 5 and coped well with a busy city, We had a good dinner later.

Date    

Monday 1st February

Situation - who are you with, where, what are you doing? 
6.50 am Driving to LHR - traffic delay

Emotions:  Rate their strength (0-10)    
Frustrated (10) Worried about the future (8)

Thoughts:  How far do you believe them?    
Idiots driving on M4, I’m going to be held up. (100%) 

This isn’t working, I’m not going to be able to continue with this job. (100%)

Behaviour: What did you do?

Practiced controlled breathing.  Pulled into services for a coffee.  I have plenty of time, I left early.  Yes the M4 is busy but I can manage this.  Arrived in good time.  Reasonable flight despite ATC delay. I love where we live. I will make it work..

As part of their treatment, or as a daily practice, many people find writing things down preferable to talking them out loud. Once again it's a very simple idea and as such worth a try.

 

We know from pilots who've contacted us about depression that they greatly benefited from a process that helped them to make sense of their experience. Writing for some people provides an effective means of separating thought from emotion - opening things up to inspection and challenge where necessary.