Fuck, I’m so fucking stupid. I can’t believe I did that.”

If you have a mental illness, it’s likely you’ve had these kinds of thoughts.

I have chronic depression, PTSD, PMDD, and SAD.

I used to struggle with these thoughts constantly.

No one cares what you have to say” and “people probably think I’m crazy”

I’ve worked with multiple therapists over the years who have taught me how to literally rewire my brain.

These thoughts are usually repeated on a daily basis and it’ll take time to rewire everything. The key to changing these thoughts is challenging them.

These negative thoughts become beliefs. We absolutely have to challenge these beliefs in order to break them down.

Try reversing the phrase or turning it into a positive or an affirmation. Here are a few examples:

First thought – “People probably think I’m crazy”

Second thought – “I have a chemical imbalance in my brain and I’m taking steps to cope.”

First thought – “Everyone is looking at me”

Second Thought – “I am one person on the planet, and most people aren’t focused on me.”

First Thought – “No one cares about me”

Second thought – “The Universe, and an infinite amount of people care about me. I am valuable.

Challenge yourself next time you notice you’re thinking negatively. Stop mid-thought and think firmly, “No…and your reversal here.”

You can write these down as you actively reverse your negative self-talk. You could also keep a journal as thoughts come and go so you can see the tangible effort of the work you’re putting in.

If you have someone you trust, you can ask them to hold you accountable. A lot of these beliefs can come out in casual conversation. Your friend can prompt you to challenge that believe aloud in that moment. It’s a very powerful tool!

Journaling Prompts:

Think of the five most common negative things you tell yourself.

Write how you want to change that belief. How is that belief affecting you?

How can you reverse that belief into something positive, affirmative, and compassionate?

If you have difficulty doing this, imagine what you would say to a good friend if she said those negative thoughts about herself aloud.

Oftentimes, when we’re filled with self-loathing and shame, it’s hard to be kind to ourselves.

Taking yourself out of the equation will help you gain compassion for yourself.

Did this exercise help you? Want to keep the journaling prompts? Click here to have this guide emailed to you in a saveable and printable .pdf format!