Seemingly Irrelevant Decisions
When making any decision, whether large or small, do the following:
• Consider what options you have.
• Think about the possible outcomes of each option. What positive or negative consequences can you anticipate, and what are the risks of relapse?
• Choose an option that will minimize your relapse risk. If you decide to choose a risky option, plan how to protect yourself while in the high-risk situation.
• Watch for “red flag” thinking: thoughts like “I have to . . .” (do something, go somewhere, see someone) or “I can handle . . .” (a certain high-risk situation) or “It really doesn’t matter whether . . .” (I’ll just have a hit).
Think about a decision you made recently or are about to make. The decision could involve any aspect of your life, such as your job, recreational activities, friends, or family. Identify safe choices and choices that might increase your risk of relapsing.
Decision to be made:___________________________________________________________
Thinking Errors That Dampen Oneís Mood
Type of Error Example
Personalizing Thinking all situations and events revolve around you. Everyone
was looking at me.
Magnifying Blowing negative events out of proportion. This is the worst
thing that could happen to me.
Minimizing Downplaying the positives. I got the job, but probably no one
Either/or thinking Not taking into account the full continuum. I’m either a loser or
Taking events out of context After a successful experience, focusing on one or two rough
points. I may have gotten the job, but I blew that one question
in the interview.
Jumping to conclusions Making a premature conclusion without enough data. I have a
swollen gland. It must be cancer.
Overgeneralizing Making a sweeping judgment based on one event. I failed this
time; I fail at everything I ever try.
Self-blame Blaming oneself rather than specific behaviors that can be
changed. I’m no good.
Mindreading Believing that you know what everyone else is thinking.
Everyone there thought I was fat and ugly.
Comparing Comparing yourself unfavorably with someone else. That
supermodel has a better figure than I do.
Catastrophizing Focusing on the worst possible outcome or explanation. He
didn’t call, and I know something terrible has happened to him.