I came across a Cognitive Therapy exercise in a Postpartum workbook called The Pregnancy and Postpartum Anxiety Workbook by Pamela S. Wiegartz, PH.D. & Kevin L. Gyoerkoe, PSY.D . I would recommend reading through Chapter Five, Modifying Anxious Thoughts, for a more detailed explanation of how to complete this exercise. A friend, who has a degree in Biblical counseling, shared a couple of caveats with this exercise to apply Biblical truths to the situation. Below is the modified version we came up with.
Psychologists who specialize in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy call this “normalizing” by labeling the negative emotions. I process the best by writing things out and journaling. Some people might be better served by verbal processing with someone patiently listening. Regardless, it would help to share this with someone anyway! Here is one of my journal entries.
|What is the situation?||Woke up with heart racing, dry heaving, shortness of breath|
|What thoughts am I having?||I’m going to die. This feeling will last forever. I’ll never be able to sleep again|
|How are these thoughts affecting my feelings?||I’m scared, anxious, out of control |
I desire to just take a sleeping pill to knock me out
|What are the consequences of feeling this way?||I have body shakes, I’m sobbing, I feel like I can’t breathe, and have an elevated pulse|
|What does God’s Word say?||He will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). |
The Lord preserves the righteous (Psalm 145:30)
...Slight and momentary affliction is preparing for us an
eternal weight of glory (2 Cor 4:17)
|Is there a one-liner to remember His Truth?||He will never forsake me.|