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automatic thoughts

Type of activity: Journal / Meditation

Location: Anywhere but preferably somewhere quiet and peaceful outdoors

Materials: Journal / Pen

Length 30 minutes

Take your journal and find a quiet place outdoors. Perhaps under a tree or by a river. This exercise will begin with a gentle mindfulness meditation to help you clear your mind.


  • Make yourself comfortable, perhaps sitting cross-legged or lying flat on your back.


  • Close your eyes and start focusing on your breath. Notice the changes in your body as you breathe in and out. If your mind wanders bring it gently back to your breath.


  • Once your breath has settled into a gentle rhythm, bring your attention to your body.


  • Starting with your feet, explore any sensations you have – heat, cold, a breeze on your skin.


  • Slowly move your awareness up through your body, from your feet up to your knees, hips, belly, fingertips, arms, shoulders, back, neck, head, continuing to breathe in a gentle rhythm.


  • Remain in this position for as long as you wish then slowly bring your attention back to your surrounding and open your eyes when you are ready.


Now you are feeling relaxed and ready to start the exercise. Use the layout below in your journal to explore your irrational or negative thoughts.


Automatic Thoughts.jpg
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