I've been reading some books about Stoicism for a while and periodically reviewing them. Below are some bullet points derived from that reading that I've been referring to daily to help break negative thought patterns.
- Reframe hardships as tests from the (fictional) stoic gods to test your skill at remaining even-tempered.
- Ask if the current thing you're upset about will seem so important when looking back at the end of your life.
– Ask if you've gotten upset over similar things before and it turned out to be nothing.
- Ask if you are upset at something over which you have no control.
– Did it already happen in the past?– Is the resolution of the issue, or some aspect of it, out of your hands for now?
- Ask what the worst that could happen is. Try projecting the worst case in (written) detail and analyze whether or not it's actually so bad.
– Might it actually lead to a better path?
- Ask if you are fighting with/resisting some aspect of reality. If yes, what?
– Ask the extent to which not wanting to accept some personal limitation or lack of ability is contributing to your state of being upset.
- Ask if your reaction to a terminal cancer diagnosis would be more or less severe (in terms of upsettedness, preoccupation etc) than your reaction to the current thing upsetting you. If you think you are reacting more seriously to the current issue than you would to a cancer diagnosis, ask if that is appropriate/makes sense.