Our mentors and page authors are not necessarily psychologists or therapists. Even when they are, this page is not medical or psychological advice and they are not creating a doctor/therapist-client relationship. You should consult a professional if possible and they can tell you whether this advice applies to your situation. If this is an emergency, you should call your national emergency number, like 911, or a mental health hotline, like 1-800-950-6264.

In addition to the techniques in the rest of this toolkit, here are some other quick exercises to try if the ABCD and 7-Column Methods aren’t enough.

  1. Cognitive diffusion: Try to split yourself from your thoughts. Say things in your mind like “I notice I’m angry right now and I understand I’m feeling angry because my kid just broke my glasses. That’s okay but I don’t need to act angry. I feel angry.”

  2. Acceptance: Rather than correcting your thought in your mind, like with some of the CBT techniques above, acceptance may sometimes work better for you. Especially when facing a strong emotion you can’t fight or rationalize away in the minute, just watch yourself react. “Okay,” you can say to yourself. “I’m really, really sad right now. Everything feels awful and hopeless. I know I’m feeling this and I’m going to notice where the sadness sits in my body and how my body and mind feel. And then I’ll observe it pass too.”

  3. Observe yourself: Kind of like acceptance, but even easier. You don’t even have to allow yourself to feel or let yourself know it’s going to be okay. Just try to feel what emotions you’re having and notice how you’re reacting. Try to observe the person inside and what your core feelings are.

  4. Look at your values and change your behavior: Ask yourself if you’re committed to taking actions that actually align with the values you have. You’re probably not the type of person who wants to rage about a small mistake or the type of person who wants to sit around on your bed all day, hard as it is to get up. Remind yourself of your values and who you are and promise to take committed action (change your behavior) to match your values in the future, even if the emotions are raging inside.

  5. Core Belief Worksheet: If you’ve discovered you have a core belief that is really hampering your life, such as “I am unlovable” or “things will never be as good as when I was a kid again,” one way to work on it over time is to write the belief at the top of a page in your journal with a percentage on how much you agree with it. Then do evidence for and against on the entire page and end with your new belief and the percent you agree with it. Over many sessions of doing this, you may find you hack away at your core belief over time.
    • For example, you might think you are lazy and agree with this 90%. Then write pros and cons arguing for and against tis position on the sheet. You’ll probably notice you’ve done in a lot in your life and that even if you’ve been unable to perform tasks now, that doesn’t mean you’ll continue not to be able to in the future. At the bottom of the sheet, maybe now your new belief is that you are not lazy, but overworked and need to set more achievable goals. Maybe you agree with this only 50%. That’s okay. It will get better over time.

  6. Connect with the present moment: Try emergency meditation or mindfulness in the moment. Or practice mindfulness throughout the day. Our page on meditation [coming soon] has great tips on how to get started. Focus on your breath and on the fact you are here and you are alive.


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