How Emotions Influence Thoughts & Behaviors:

Challenging Negative Thoughts
Check out this handout with four strategies to help challenge negative thoughts. You can download this PDF to remember these strategies and use them in your daily life!
This handout will be helpful for your next quiz – make sure to download it so you can earn your Challenging Negative Thoughts badge.

Think Like a Detective

What evidence is there supporting that the negative thought is true? What would convince you that the thought is correct or incorrect?

Alternative Perspectives

What would someone who disagrees with your thought say or think? What would you tell a friend who was in this situation to make them feel less upset?


What is the worst thing that could happen if your thought is true? What are other possible outcomes of this thought being true? What is the likelihood that the worst-case scenario will happen? What about that the other outcomes will happen? How might thinking this way impact your relationship with the other person? How has thinking this way worked in the past for you? Are there other ways of thinking about this scenario that may work better?

Idea Generation

Brainstorm other thoughts about the situation. Think of (or write down) as many alternative thoughts as you can. Next, evaluate the pros and cons of each thought. How might each thought impact your emotions and behaviors? How might each thought help you achieve a larger goal (e.g., maintaining a friendship, completing a task you care about)?

Challenging Negative Thinking Traps Quiz

MODULE 3: How Emotions Influence Thoughts & Behaviors

How Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors are Related

Identifying Thinking Traps

Challenging Negative Thoughts

My Profile

© CALMER Lab and the Child Study Center at Virginia Tech. All Rights Reserved.
Website Development by Bold Print Design Studio.