Take control over the things that you can control.
While there’s a lot that you can’t control, you can exert control over things such as your schedule and your habits. For example, make a list every day of things that you need to get done. Include activities you need to balance your life, such as connecting with others, doing fun things, taking care of your health, or taking attention off yourself and finding ways to help other people such as friends, family, or those less fortunate than you.
Accept your experiences.
Struggling against your negative emotions can just put way more attention on them and make you feel much worse. Instead, try telling yourself, “I don’t like feeling this anxiety or this degree of uncertainty, but it’s natural to feel this way at the moment, and probably most people are feeling something like this. Meanwhile, I don’t have to focus on this feeling, and I can focus on taking action based on my values, or getting involved in things that are really important to me.”
Use your body cues.
When you notice an uncomfortable physiological reaction or you’re physically feeling out of sorts, it can be important to figure out what this might signal. If you can rule out that exercise or illness is causing your aches and pains, then it can be important to try to figure out what’s really bothering you. Try doing this by imagining some different hypothetical fixes for a problem that could be on your mind.
For example, you might wonder if it’s about your workload, so you could imagine that you get an email that says you no longer have to meet a number of your responsibilities or that a deadline is being moved to a year from now. Then, when you’ve hypothetically fixed the problem, consider how much better this makes your body feel. If you feel a lot of relief, then that’s probably what’s been on your mind. But if you don’t feel much better, then the scenario you imagined probably wasn’t the major issue, and you need to keep considering.
How can you use CBT to break down the thoughts that undermine your well-being at work?