What is the theory behind the worksheet?
The following exercise is based on a CBT approach to emotional regulation. Emotion regulation describes how individuals influence which emotions they have, when they have them, and how they experience and express their feelings. This process can be automatic or controlled, conscious or unconscious, and may have effects at one or more points in the emotional production process (Gross, 2012).
How will the worksheet help?
The following worksheet will help you understand how your behavior is affected by emotions when you are in distress. Additionally, it will offer you a range of positive coping skills that might help you in the future (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984).
How to use the worksheet
Start by thinking about the last time you were really upset. Maybe someone else caused these feelings or perhaps it was something you did and it made you feel guilty or depressed.
Positive coping skills worksheet
Describe the situation that made you feel upset.
Describe what external events caused the situation.
Describe what you did that contributed to the situation.
How did the situation make you feel emotionally and physically?
What did you want to do because of how you felt?
What did you finally do in that situation?
What did you want to say in that situation?
What did you actually say in that situation?
How did your emotions and behaviors affect you later? Did you still feel upset about the situation?
Did you do anything at that time to feel better?
See some positive coping behaviors that might you in a similar sort of situation in the future:
● I can talk about how I feel.
● I can accept the feelings for what they really are – simply feelings.
● I can calm down my body with deep breathing and muscle relaxation.
● I can engage the person (or persons) I’m with in order to work out through these difficult feelings.
● I can seek support either before or after this situation.
● I can adjust my expectations to be more realistic about what “should” happen in that situation.
● I can find some humor in the situation.
● I can be more positive about myself instead of blaming myself for what happened.
● I can be more assertive about my rights and needs.
● I can do something to calm myself down when I realize I’m anxious or afraid.
Can you think of any other positive coping skills? Note them below:
Gross, J. J. (2012). The Emerging Field of Emotion Regulation: An Integrative Review – James J. Gross, 1998. Review of General Psychology. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1037/1089-2618.104.22.1681
Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. Springer publishing company.
You can download this worksheet here.