How to De-Stress Your Life. Part 3

Absolutist thinking involves phrases like “I should” and “I must.” In a work setting, people often get “should” on by bosses with phrases and inferences like, “You should be more creative or aggressive like other managers.” Or, in the case of an incompetent manager trying to coach a subordinate, “You should be more like me.” Another way you may let people push your buttons is believing that all people should treat you fairly, and that if you work hard, things should go your way. In reality, you know that life is not fair; however, believing that it should be fair can cause a lot of stress.

Rationalization thinking involves holding in your feelings or trying to deny or provide plausible but untrue reasons for conduct. A common phrase is, “Who cares.” A sample scenario may be, “I’m tired of a certain employee goofing off when I’m not around. I treat my employees well and have been more than patient. I just don’t care anymore.”

Change good thoughts into better reactions

How do you turn the B’s (thoughts and beliefs) into C’s (reactions and behaviors) that will be beneficial? Ellis developed a four-step process to do just that. Look at the catastrophic thinking example, “What if the new owner of the club doesn’t like me?”

According to Ellis, step 1 would be to ask yourself: How am I inappropriately feeling and acting in this situation? Your answer may include feeling overly anxious and negative about an unknown situation.

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