• Belle Larson

Identifying and Challenging Our Thoughts



Introduction:

In sports we often experience frustrations or anxiety about different situations. It is helpful to understand the source of our emotions, also known as the trigger. This can also apply to everyday life like school, work, or family situations. Identifying our feelings is the first step to finding relief. In sports it is also easy to have negative thoughts during bad performances. We can challenge these thoughts and eventually change our habits for the better!


Identifying our emotions

It is easy to bottle up our emotions in times of stress. Sometimes everyday stresses seem to pile on and overtime this can lead to burnout, depression, anger outbursts.


Think of it like a cup:




How do we prevent this?

  • We need to understand where our emotions are coming from

  • We need to find the source of our worries

I am feeling___________________ because

Example: I am feeling anxious because I am in a big group of people.


After we identify our emotions we can find a way to release them:

  • Journaling

  • Writing down all of your worries on a piece of paper and then tearing it up

  • Write down emotions on plate and break it

  • Talk to a trusted friend about everything going on

  • Talk to a pet

  • Draw or paint your emotions

  • Write a poem or short story/comic about how your feeling


Challenging our Thoughts

  • Challenging our thoughts can boost self esteem

  • It will also help us better understand our emotions and help us have a more logical perspective

A lot of our worries/stresses can be illogical but at the time they seem perfectly logical (Example: “I feel like everyone is looking at me” or “I’m so stupid because I forgot my keys”)


Steps to Challenge Thoughts:

  1. First identify: Write down all of your negative thoughts

  2. Challenge: Write down evidence that proves these thoughts false

Example:

Identify: I am so stupid because I forgot my keys

What thinking pattern: emotional reasoning

Challenge: This statement is false because it was a simple human mistake

I was really stressed this morning because I was running late

I didn’t see the keys because I was carpooling with my coworker


Conclusion:

These strategies can be used in any situation. Identifying your emotions and finding a way to express them prevents burnout, depression, and outbursts. Challenging our thoughts leads to better thinking habits and higher self esteems.



Sources:


“Unhelpful Thinking Styles.” Psychology Tools, 21 July 2021, www.psychologytools.com/resource/unhelpful-thinking-styles/.

“Cup Overflowing Clipart.” Global Perspectivess, globalperspectives.info/clipart/c/cup-overflowing-clipart.html.



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