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Home | Session 1: The Science of Stress | Session 2: Relaxation and Stress | Session 3: Exercise and Stress | Session 4: Stress Resistant Eating | Session 5: Stress Resistant Thinking

Stress Management for Health Course

Self Talk Grid

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Self Talk


Before The Event

Negative Thought


This is going to be awful, Im going to make a fool of myself, I know it.  I wont go this weekend.

Challenge The

Negative Thought


Stop! Relax.  What am I so worried about?  Am I being reasonable about this?  Going to an evening class wont hurt me, but it might help.



I know Ill make a fool of myself everyone will see Im nervous.


So might the others theyll all be beginners too.  Anyway, what is really so bad about making a fool of myself everyone does from time to time and life still goes on.



But I cant bear the idea Ill feel terrible.


Thats an exaggeration.  Its unlikely Ill make a fool of myself.  This wouldnt stop anyone else from going am I going to let it stop me?  No, Im not going to waste all the effort Ive made to make the arrangements.  Anyway I might meet someone who feels the same.



Getting There

Negative Thought


If the bus doesnt come soon Ill be sick.








Im feeling sick because Im anxious, not because Im ill. STOP. Ill take a diaphragmatic breath and do my relaxation routine, then Ill feel better.






Negative Thought


What am I doing on this horrible bus?  Perhaps Ill get off and go home as fast as I can Im obviously not ready for this yet.




This is something I want to do.  Im getting fed up with spending every evening indoors.  Besides Ill never be ready unless I fight the anxiety.

At The Event

Negative Thoughts


Ill take a chair right at the back and nobody will notice me.  I feel as if everybody is looking at me.




If I try to hide away people will think I dont want them to come near me and that will defeat the whole object of coming.  Besides, no one is looking at me Whats so special about me, anyway?  If I see anyone looking my way theyre probably being friendly, so Ill smile at them.  Actually this is going quite well Im glad I came now.  The class is really interesting so Ive almost forgotten about my nerves.  People seem friendly too.  I bet the journey home wont be so bad Ill have something to think about, besides my nerves.


The Next Day


I think I coped really well last night and thats the first time Ive been out on my own for ages.


Negative Thoughts


But what about the next time things might not go so smoothly.  How will I cope if Im sick again.





Well I did cope and that is all that matters.  The more I practice the easier it will be Im not going to feel wonderful at first but its action that really counts.

Source (Keeble D (1997) The Management of Anxiety: a Guide for Therapists, Churchill Livingstone (p38-39)

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