"The Work" by Byron Katie - a series of inquiries to ask of any stressful thought.
1. Is it true?
- The answer is a “yes” or a “no” only.
- If your answer is “no,” continue to question #3.
2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought? (Occasionally people find the following sub-questions helpful.)
- What emotions happen when you believe that thought? (Depression, anxiety, etc. If needed, an Emotions and Reactions List is available on www.thework.com.)
- Does that thought bring peace or stress into your life?
- What images do you see, past and future, when you believe that thought?
- Describe the physical sensations that happen when you believe that thought.
- How do you treat that person and others when you believe that thought?
- How do you treat yourself when you believe that thought?
- What addictions/obsessions begin to manifest when you believe that thought? (Alcohol, credit cards, food, the TV remote?)
- What do you fear would happen if you didn’t believe that thought? (Later, take this list of fears to inquiry.)
- Whose business are you in mentally when you believe that thought?
- Where and at what age did that thought first occur to you?
- What are you not able to do when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without the thought?
Close your eyes and observe, contemplate. Who or what are you without that thought?
Turn the thought around.
Statements can be turned around to the opposite, to the self, and to the other, and occasionally there are other variations as well. When dealing with an object, you can replace the object with “my thinking” or “my thoughts.” Find a minimum of three genuine, specific examples of how each turnaround is as true as or truer than your original statement.