Understand Emotions

Emotional – Activity: Understand Emotions

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a form of cognitive behavior therapy developed by Albert Ellis. With this method we gain an understanding of how our beliefs about events lead to our emotions.

Activating Event Beliefs  Consequences +

  • Activating Event
  • Beliefs
  • Consequences

If our beliefs are based on irrational thoughts, consequences may be negative. But we can insert a mental pause with the SOS method to ask questions and choose more effective rational thoughts for a more positive outcome.

Ask Begin to dispute irrational thoughts  Choose effective rational thoughts +

Ask: Use the SOS technique to insert a mental pause to identify emotions and ask questions:

  • What are my feelings?
  • Am I seeing this clearly?
  • Is this a rational thought? Is it logical and reasonable?
  • Is it true? Is it accurate?
  • What are the facts? Is there evidence?
  • Am I exaggerating or over-reacting?
  • Am I mistaken to take this personally?
  • Is this an overly pessimistic view?

Begin to dispute irrational thoughts. Some common cognitive distortions:

  1. All-or-Nothing Thinking
  2. Overgeneralizing
  3. Discounting the Positive
  4. Jumping to Conclusions
  5. Mind Reading
  6. Fortune Telling
  7. Magnifying (Catastrophising) or Minimizing
  8. Emotional Reasoning
  9. Should Statements
  10. Labeling and Mislabeling
  11. Personalizing

Choose to substitute effective rational thoughts:

  • feelings are caused by beliefs and thoughts, not by events
  • not everyone will love me
  • nobody is perfect
  • there are reasons for behavior
  • the universe wasn’t created for me
  • worry is not helpful (but planning can be)
  • facing problems is better than avoidance and denial
  • learn from the past while moving forward
  • change is possible

This week, I will notice how my feelings, beliefs and thoughts are connected. I will print an REBT self help form and use it each day. I will replace irrational beliefs and thoughts with rational ones.


Download the ABCs of REBT worksheet (pdf) Watch a video about the ABCDE Model. (6:35)

One of the Four Agreements is to Be Impeccable With Your Words. Uplift yourself with honest self-talk using REBT.

more tools for understanding emotions:

This is one of the weekly activities for a Year of Personal Development and part of the series on emotional intelligence.

I seek to create order from the chaos of complex information. Join me at the Daily PlanIt to gain insights, inspiration, and information to increase skills for a better life. I unlock the power of teaching reading with phonics in the pursuit of literacy at www.phonicspow.com. In my spare time I explore books and movies, often choosing titles available on both screen and page.

Posted in Year of Personal Growth
5 comments on “Understand Emotions
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  5. […] Albert Ellis – Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy […]

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