Check please

Hopefully the exercise in the preceding section has made you more aware of when you get defensive. But what's an alternative when you perceive your partner's actions or words as hostile or malicious We recommend something called checking it out. Checking it out involves first catching the urge to be defensive. Then, when you're ready, you make a gentle inquiry about your partner's true intentions. Max promises to pick up Teva for dinner and a movie at 6 30. He arrives breathless at 6 50 saying,...

Worksheet 48Jasmines Reflections

I thought that all I worried about was the kids. Truth is, my job really gets me stirred up. Conflict isn't easy for me either I'd better do something about that. My shyness gets in my way, too. I didn't realize how often I have these feelings. Now it's your turn to fill out a Mood Diary (see Worksheet 4-9). This exercise can provide you with invaluable information about patterns and issues that consistently cause you distress. This knowledge helps you see what needs to...

After the Verdict Replacing and Rehabilitating Your Thoughts

Hopefully, the prosecution presents a convincing case against a variety of your malicious thoughts, and you begin to see that many of your thoughts are guilty of scrambling reality and causing excessive emotional distress. When criminals are convicted, society usually tries to rehabilitate them and give them a second chance. The same thing goes for guilty thoughts. In this section, we show you how to rehabilitate your guilty thoughts, one at a time. Rehabilitating your thoughts decreases...

Worksheet 310 My Analyzing Advantages and Disadvantages Form

Now, read over the advantages and disadvantages you've listed for each change-blocking belief. Reflect on the advantages, and you're likely to see that they actually aren't all that advantageous. Weigh the pros and the cons of holding onto your beliefs, and write all your reflections in Worksheet 3-11.

Putting your thoughts on trial

You guessed it it's your turn to visit Thought Court. Don't be concerned if you struggle in your initial attempts this important exercise takes practice. (And if you're still confused after examining your own thoughts, you can find several more examples to illustrate further how this process works.) The first step is to complete a Thought Tracker (see Worksheet 6-6) by following these instructions 1. Pay attention to your body's signals and write them down whenever you feel something...

Worksheet 413Jasmines Thought Tracker

Feelings and Sensations (Rated 1-100) Panic (95) terrified, sweaty, rapid shallow breathing, dizzy At first I thought I might have run into someone's car and could have hurt somebody I never know how to handle things like this. I'll probably lose my driver's license or my insurance will drop me. My husband will be furious with me. I can't stand it when he's mad at me. Three people, same event. You can see how their thoughts contribute to the way they feel. All three of them look at this event...

Smoothing Out Conflict

Depersonalizing your partner's behavior Communicating through conflict Conflict with someone you care about hurts, and when you're depressed or anxious, you tend to be more irritable, which leads to more conflict. Like so many other problems related to depression and anxiety, a vicious cycle ensues. In this chapter, we help you break the negative cycle of conflict. We explain how what we call the malicious assumption leads to defensiveness and counterattacks. Then we show you how to track the...

Pleasure Busters

Ideally, you found a nice list of pleasurable activities from our Nifty 50 Checklist (see Worksheet 11-1) and were able to insert them into your regular life without too much trouble. However, we know that many people don't find this task so easy to do. Emotional distress and especially depression cause distorted thinking (see Chapters 5, 6, and 7 for the lowdown on distorted thinking). In this section, we zero in on the thoughts that are most likely to interfere with your efforts to increase...

Worksheet 63Prosecutors Investigative Questions

Is this thought illogical or distorted in any way (See Chapter 5 for a list of reality scramblers that indicate distortions in thoughts.) 2. Is this event as horrible as I'm letting myself believe it is 3. Were there any times in my life when this thought wouldn't have held true 4. Do I know of friends or acquaintances who have experienced similar events but for whom this thought wouldn't apply 5. Am I ignoring any evidence that may dispute this thought 6. Is this thought really helping me 7....

What We Assume About

By the sheer fact that you've picked up this book, we assume, perhaps foolishly, that you want to do something about depression and or anxiety. We hope you already know a little about these topics, but if you want to know more, we suggest you read either or both of the companion books to this workbook Overcoming Anxiety For Dummies (Wiley) and Depression For Dummies (Wiley). Of course, we're slightly biased toward these books because we wrote them, but honestly, they'll broaden your...

Building a Staircase of Fear

Well, maybe not any fear it should be one that bothers you and that you'd like to do something about (it's probably from your Top Five Fears list see Worksheet 9-2). The best way to overcome fear is to face it dead-on. Not all at once, mind you, but in steps. The exposure technique for facing and overcoming fear involves breaking your fear into manageable steps and gradually confronting each one. You don't proceed to the next step until you've conquered the one you...

Climbing Your Staircase

After you develop your first Staircase of Fear (see the previous section), it's time to face your fear directly. Oh my gosh This could be kind of hard, huh It will be hard, but if you take care to focus on each step as it comes and climb slowly, you're likely to succeed. Take the steps as slowly as you need to. Remember, if you find the process too difficult, consult a mental health professional. You don't have to go this alone. Jump back up to the section Identifying your fears and review...

In this part

M Jlj e take you beyond getting better and help you prepare for possible difficulties in the road ahead. Relapse of anxiety or depression is disturbingly common, but you don't have to sit back and let it happen. We tell you what you can do to prevent relapse or at least head it off early on. Finally, we turn our focus to what makes people happy. After all, we don't want you to just get over your emotional distress we want you to feel true joy from your life. That's why we provide exercises that...

Worksheet 514 continued

My voice started to shake during a meeting at work. I was talking about something very important to me. At times like that I do get a little tense. I wish I didn't, but that doesn't make me a loser. I didn't get into the graduate school I wanted. It was very competitive. I did get my third choice. Sure, I wish I'd gotten my preference, but I can still succeed in my chosen career. The doc said that after 50, metabolic changes make it harder to lose weight. I do have extra weight, and I don't...

Facing Feelings Avoiding Avoidance

Plowing through obsessions and compulsions 7his chapter is all about fear and anxiety. We know what you're thinking this book is supposed to be about both anxiety and depression so what does fear have to do with depression Well, quite a lot actually. Fear is connected to anxiety, and anxiety, especially chronic anxiety, frequently leads to depression. And if you're already depressed, anxiety is likely to deepen your depression. If you experience fear and anxiety, you probably avoid the things...

From Arraignment to Conviction Thought Court

We base our technique called Thought Court on the principles of cognitive therapy. Cognitive therapy was founded in the late 1950s by Dr. Aaron T. Beck, who discovered that changing the way people think changes the way they feel. Many studies attest to the fact that cognitive therapy works very well to alleviate anxiety and depression. Therefore, we recommend that you regularly work on the exercises in this section. Do this work until you find yourself starting to think and feel differently . ....

Arriving at Acceptance

Once or twice each winter, we take a drive up to the crest of New Mexico's Sandia Mountains, elevation 10,000 feet. We like to tromp around in the snow and sometimes go cross-country skiing. We bring our dogs, and they appear to love the snow more than we do. The parking lot at the crest is usually plowed, but the last time we went, we managed to get stuck in a snowbank. I mean really stuck. As the wheels began spinning uselessly, I (Charles) uttered a few choice words of frustration. Laura...

Mellowing Your Muscles

One of the most thoroughly researched methods for teaching your body to relax is called progressive muscle relaxation. It sounds scientific and complicated, but you can find easy techniques for muscle relaxation in a variety of books, tapes, CDs, and on the Internet. Flat out Muscle relaxation works. That's why, in this section, we give you one of our favorite muscle relaxation strategies. In the beginning, this technique will take you about 15 or 20 minutes. As you practice the exercise,...

Minding Your Moods

Listening to your body Figuring out your feelings Connecting events and feelings Tracking thoughts, events, and feelings ou can't overcome anxiety and depression by running on autopilot. Learning how to feel better starts with self-observation. In this chapter, we provide instructions for observing the relationships among your feelings, your thoughts, and the happenings in your life. First, you monitor your body's response to events. This information helps you become more aware of the physical...

Walking in Quicksand Apprehensive and Blue Behavior

If you were to follow a depressed or anxious person around, you might see some behavioral signs of their emotional turmoil. That's because depression and anxiety on the inside affect what people do on the outside. For example, a depressed person may look tired, move slowly, or withdraw from friends and family an anxious person may avoid socializing or have a trembling voice. Take the quiz in Worksheet 1-2 to see if your behavior indicates a problem with anxiety and or depression. Check off each...

Not Letting Relapse Sneak Up on

With relapse, subtle signs may start to appear and go unnoticed. Then, suddenly, you find your problems have returned, possibly even worse than before. We don't want relapse to get the best of you, so we recommend that, after you've recovered from anxiety or depression, you conduct a review of your emotions and feelings on a weekly basis. Over time, you can reduce the frequency of these reviews to once every month or two as your risk of relapse becomes less and less. To review your emotions and...

Managing Mindfulness and Achieving Acceptance

Taking your thoughts less seriously Embracing your feelings Staying connected to the present 5 it quietly for a few moments and pay attention to your breathing. Feel the air as it passes through your nostrils and slowly fills your lungs. Experience the sensation of your lungs deflating as you exhale. If thoughts come into your mind, notice them as an observer and allow them to pass through. Go back to focusing on your breathing. This breathing exercise is designed to introduce you to...

Worksheet 41Tylers Body Responses Tracking Sheet

When did this happen What was I doing I felt pain in my shoulders and back. Monday morning. I was going over the new project with my boss. When did this happen What was I doing I could tell my breathing was rapid and shallow. Tuesday evening while talking with my ex-wife. My body feels heavy It feels like I'm walking through mud. Lately, I've felt this way every day. I noticed I'm walking around stooped over And I've been slumped at my desk. I notice this mostly after lunch on Thursday and...

Worksheet 39Jasmines Reflections

I realize that when I don't try, I still end up failing, so not trying isn't really an advantage. And yes, change may be a lot of work and seem overwhelming, but I'm utterly miserable. When I think about it, I get satisfaction from helping others. So logically, they wouldn't mind helping me from time to time. I could use some help, and it might feel really nice to get close to people. On balance, these change-blocking beliefs are keeping me stuck. Clearly, Jasmine can see that her assumptions...

Worksheet 66My Thought Tracker

Feelings & Sensations (Rated 1-100) You can find this worksheet on the Web at www.dummies.com go adwbfd. Download as many copies as you need and be sure to practice this technique often. In time, you're likely to start changing the way you think and, therefore, the way you feel. Just give it some time. The Thought Tracker prepares you for the next step Thought Court. Thought Court takes some planning and preparation. Take a malicious thought and consider the Prosecutor's Investigative...

Actions Against Angst Behavior Therapy

It's just a little device I use to Kelp relieve the anxiety iron* meeting nevi people ' M ne approach to fighting depression and anxiety is by changing your behavior. By changing what you do, you can change the way you feel. We guide you step by step through methods for overcoming fear and anxiety. Furthermore, we provide encouragement for engaging in healthy and pleasurable activities. People who are emotionally upset usually find themselves unable to solve many of their everyday problems....

Disrupting satisfaction interrupters

Sometimes, activities that you anticipate being wonderful turn out to be just okay, blah, or downright downers. This kind of outcome may indicate that your satisfaction was sabotaged by a satisfaction interrupter. The culprit is usually a thought that steals your initial or planned enjoyment of an activity. To understand satisfaction interrupters and their effects on your experiences, check out the following example. Austin loves golf and looks forward to playing in a weekend charity game. It's...

Ten Quick Ways Out of Upset

Finding fast fixes in a pinch Building your personal plan of attack The ideas in this chapter are designed to give you a lift when you're feeling a little down or uptight. Mind you, we're not talking about deep depression or intense anxiety that's what the rest of the book is about. But if you're feeling not quite yourself, you're likely to find these tips useful. Typically, when you're distraught, your breathing quickens and becomes shallow. These changes in breathing are bound to add to your...

The Thought Query Quiz

What meaning does the event have for me in my life 2. Will this event affect my future in any way 4. Does the event say something about me as a person 5. What passed through my mind as I noticed the event Thought Trackers give you important information about the way your mind interprets events and your related feelings. That's why we recommend that you do them often. See Part II for ways of changing your thinking habits and improving your moods. The Thought Tracker demonstrates how the way you...

Plotting Your Personal Problems Profile

The Personal Problems Profile provides you with an overview of your problematic symptoms. (If you skipped the quizzes in the previous sections of this chapter, go back and take some time to complete them your answers to those quizzes come into play in this exercise.) The profile exercise in this section helps you identify the ways in which anxiety and depression affect you. One good thing about this profile is that you can track how these symptoms change as you progress through the rest of this...

Worksheet 45Daily Unpleasant Emotions Checklist

Despondent, miserable, hopeless, gloomy, grief, joyless, dispirited, dejected, sad Panicked, nervous, tense, afraid, timid, terrified, apprehensive, worried Outraged, bitter, furious, resentful, mad, annoyed, irritable, indignant Despondent, miserable, hopeless, gloomy, grief, joyless, dispirited, dejected, sad Panicked, nervous, tense, afraid, timid, terrified, apprehensive, worried Outraged, bitter, furious, resentful, mad, annoyed, irritable, indignant Despondent, miserable, hopeless,...

Becoming a Thought Detective

Imagine yourself in a parking lot at night. You're tired and back your car into a cement pole. Crunch. What's your reaction Do you have angry thoughts like Who the bleep put that post there Do you feel anxious and worried about the costs of repair Or do you feel distraught and upset with yourself because you believe you were careless Anyone is likely to feel upset for a little while after banging up a car. However, if your thoughts are intense or persistent, they provide clues about your...

Sorting Out Signs of Anxiety and Depression

Figuring out how depression and anxiety affect you Finding your personal starting point Knowing when to get more help veryone feels sad or worried from time to time. Such emotions are both natural and unavoidable. People worry about their children, bills, aging parents, jobs, and health. And most people have shed a tear or two watching a sad movie or a news story about a poignant tragedy. That's normal. A little bit of anxiety and depression is part of everyday life. But when sadness fills...

Discovering and Challenging Change Blocking Beliefs

You may not be aware that people hold many beliefs about change. For example, some people believe that change is frightening. Others think they don't deserve to be happy and therefore don't change their lives to improve their situations. By stealing your motivation to change, assumptions such as these can keep you stuck in a depressed or anxious state. And, unfortunately, most people aren't aware of when and how these underlying assumptions can derail the most serious and sincere efforts for...

Antipanic breathing

If you ever experience intense anxiety or panic, your breathing no doubt quickens and becomes more shallow. These changes may increase your heart rate and blood pressure, you may feel dizzy, and your thinking may get confused. This breathing technique can cut short the effects of panic on your breathing. Practice it now and from time to time when you're not panicked so that you know how to do it when you need to most. 1. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose. 2. Hold your breath and count...

Overriding Defensiveness

When people feel emotionally vulnerable, whether from depression, anxiety, or conflict in a relationship, they all too easily start making the malicious assumption in response to something their partners say or do. The malicious assumption refers to the tendency to automatically interpret communications or actions in the most negative, critical way possible. More often than not, the malicious assumption grossly misinterprets the true meaning of the message. Here's a common, concrete example of...

The Motivation Myth

Especially if you're depressed, you may find yourself spending a lot of time spinning your wheels. In other words, you're not accomplishing what you want to do, and you aren't even able to take the first step toward reversing your inactivity. You're likely to tell yourself, I'll do these things when I feel motivated. Ahh, but that thought buys into a common myth that if you wait for motivation to arrive on your doorstep, you'll feel like taking action when it finally comes along. In actuality,...

Whats Your Pleasure

Emotional distress interferes with thinking. If you're sad or worried, you may have difficulty coming up with ideas about what sounds pleasurable. Not to worry. That's why we created The Nifty 50 Checklist of Pleasurable Activities (see Worksheet 11-1). As you can see, this list doesn't consist of spectacular, intense pleasures. Rather, it contains a wide range of simple pleasures and research has found that simple pleasures actually provide more enjoyment than occasional, spectacular pleasures...

Worksheet 68My Thought on Trial Worksheet

You can download extra copies of this form at www.dummies.com go adwbfd. After all, you need to use the Thought Court method numerous times to feel the full benefit. After you complete the Thought Court process, decide for yourself whether or not your thought is guilty of causing you unneeded emotional distress such as anxiety, depression, or other difficult feelings. Even if you conclude that your thought has some grain of truth, you're likely to discover that it's highly suspect of causing...

Having a Fire Extinguisher Ready

Hopefully, you don't wait for a fire to start before you make a plan for dealing with it. Fire drills save lives, as do rehearsals of how you'll deal with relapse. Approaching the potential of relapse as you would the potential for fire can save you a lot of grief and prevent relapse. Worksheet 17-2 lays out the early warning signs you should look out for. In Worksheet 17-3, we list a few of the common events that trigger emotional distress. Read through the list, thinking about which events...

Keeping track of the things that make you grateful

Studies show that keeping track of what you appreciate or are thankful for improves mood, sleep, and health. What's really amazing is how easy it is to enhance your life-satisfaction in this manner. Janet had a bout of depression and recovered a few months ago. She carefully monitors herself for signs of relapse and feels grateful that she seems to have beaten the blues. Before terminating therapy, her therapist suggests that Janet count her blessings for a while. So Janet fills out a Gratitude...

Worksheet 43My Body Responses Tracking Sheet

When did this happen What was I doing Other Dizziness, lightness, tingling, constriction in throat or chest, or feeling spacey and disoriented Visit www.dummies.com go adwbfd to obtain extra copies of this form. We recommend stashing a couple of them in your purse or briefcase so they're handy whenever you experience unpleasant physical sensations.