Topic 5: Thoughts

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One of the paths towards emotional regulation is the way we steer our thoughts. Emotions are very often provoked by thoughts. Learning to control the way we think helps us regulate our emotions. Usually we cannot control the events that happen in our life or the people that we have to interact with. But we can control the way we think and talk to ourselves about these events. This is our self-talk, our inner voice or mental chatter. Very often this mental chatter occurs without us even realizing it. Helpful self-talk is a very important skill critical to build emotional control. The way we think and talk to ourselves can directly affect the way we feel and, consequently, the actions we take or don’t take. Therefore, if we get into the habit of challenging unhelpful thoughts and generating alternative ways of thinking we can gain greater control over our thinking and related emotions. For example, instead of thinking of homework as a chore, think of how good you feel when your homework is done and you are prepared for class.