Reframing Negative Thoughts Using the ABCD Method
For an extended exercise, practice applying the ABCD method to reframe your negative thinking. Take one negative thought you have come up during the day and use it to work through this exercise.
A: The Activating Event, what happened before you had the negative thought? What was the context before it occurred? Was it a certain time of day? Around a certain person? etc.
B: Belief: What do you believe about the event? What do you think about this negative thought?
Stepping back from his negative thought, is it grounded in reality? For example: Do you always mess up at work or was it just this one time?
C: Consequences: How do you feel after you have the negative thoughts? Do you notice any physical differences after having these thoughts? What is your posture like?
D: Dispute: Counter that negative thought with a positive one that may actually be more accurate about yourself. For example, “I don’t always mess up, I had a bad meeting this morning that wasn’t actually that bad. I am doing much better about thinking before I speak at work.”