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 feelings of depression and anxiety because rehabilitated thoughts are less distorted, judgmental, and critical. We call rehabilitated thoughts replacement thoughts because they replace your old malicious thoughts.
A replacement thought is a balanced, realistic appraisal of your problem. The reason for forming a single replacement thought is that you can use that new thought repeatedly whenever the old, malicious thoughts start rumbling through your mind. The new thought is a quick and easy comeback to negative, distorted, reality-scrambled thinking.
You can use a number of different techniques to develop effective replacement thoughts. The strategies outlined in the following sections help you discard distortions and straighten out your thinking. With these strategies, you discover how to replace your twisted thoughts with more helpful, realistic replacement thoughts. We provide four separate strategies for developing replacement thoughts. If one doesn't work for you, be sure to try the others.
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