Everyone runs into tough times. Job woes, bothersome in-laws or chronic stress that skews you into thinking no one is on your side.
Are you ever jealous of the folks who seem to cruise right through it all, and handle every bump in the road with ease and smiles on their faces? Well, glass-half-empty gals, fear not. You can possess a more positive outlook and eventually kick your chronic negative thoughts to the curb.
Leading positive psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman adapted the ABCDE method from Dr. Albert Ellis’ method of disputing irrational thoughts, which is used in cognitive therapies. You can use this method to combat misfortune and tackle tough situations with a more upbeat attitude.
Using a job issue as an example (but you can use this method for any personal issue), here’s how to apply the ABCDE model from start to finish:
If your boss ever critiques your work again in the future, remember that she’s not critiquing you as a person and overall she is happy with your work. Recognize how you now have the confidence to make the revisions and move on to the next project.
Nicholas Hall, MAPP, manager of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Behavioral Lab, suggests two activities for incorporating the ABCDE model into your life:
1. Keep a journal. Hall says writing out each step of the model will help you uncover the root of the problem.
2. Talk it out. Discussing each step in the model with a close friend or relative can help you identify what’s really bothering you or what you really believe, Hall says.
Once you’ve been using the ABCDE model regularly, you’ll notice a change in your behavior, attitude and wellbeing.
“You’ll feel more empowered, in control, confident and happy,” Hall says.
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