Got Guilt? Do you tend to blame yourself or take the bulk of responsibility for other people’s problems? It is very likely that you are mainly focusing on what you contributed to the problem while completely leaving out the other person’s role in the situation.
Instead of blaming yourself entirely for a problem, think about the many factors that contributed to the problem. Ask yourself, “What caused this problem? What did I contribute and what did others contribute? What can I learn from the situation?” Often, when you take this multi-faceted approach, you come away with a more balanced perspective, that is intellectually honest, and one that often leaves you feeling better.
Negative Predictions? Do you scare yourself with scary or negative predictions? If so, this technique may be helpful for you. Do an experiment to test the validity of your negative thought, in much the same way that a scientist would test a theory. Ask yourself, “How could I test this negative thought to find out if it’s really true?” For example, if you believe you’re on the verge of losing control and cracking up during your panic attacks, you can test this belief by trying to drive yourself crazy though willful effort. You can roll around on the floor, flail your arms and legs in the air, and speak gibberish. It can be a relief to discover that you can’t go crazy, no matter how hard you try.