Thoughts are essential. They produce feelings and behaviors. When you have a “hot” thought, it stirs up something within you. It can create loss of equilibrium or breakdown in normal functioning.
According to psychologists, Dr. Matthew McKay and Dr. Martha Davis, there are 10 questions you may ask yourself in analyzing your “hot” thoughts and establish reality:
- Is there an alternative interpretation of the situation, other than your hot thought?
- Is the hot thought really accurate or is it an over generalization?
- Are there exceptions to the generalizations made by your hot thought?
- Are there balancing realities that might soften negative aspects of the situation?
- What are the likely consequences and outcomes of the situation?
- Are there experiences from your past that would lead you to a conclusion other than your hot thought?
- Are there objective facts that would be at odds with the interpretation of your hot thought?
- What are the real odds that what you fear happening in the situation will actually occur?
- Do you have the social or problem solving skills to handle the situation differently?
- Could you create a plan to change the situation?