A: Activating Event
-These are events that trigger certain thoughts.
-They usually make you anxious/nervous/angry/sad etc. which can then lead to substance use.
-The event causes ANTs (automatic negative thoughts)
B: Belief System
-How you perceive the world.
-Based on past and present experiences and how you were raised.
-Some are helpful and some are not.
-Can be thoughts/opinions of others' being replayed in your head as your own.
-A dysfunctional belief system will cause dysfunctional thoughts and can lead to negative behaviors.
-Can be good or bad
-The outcome of the situation.
-You need to dispute B (belief system)
-Challenge, rethink, and reframe the belief system that isn't working anymore.
-Replace negative, unrealistic, and bias self-talk with positive, rational thoughts.
-Get a new, healthier, positive effect.
For example, a lot of people have a perfectionist belief system where they feel they are never allowed to fail and any type of mistake or flaw is seen as a devastation. An activating event might be getting a poor review from your boss on a recent project. The belief system exaggerates this negative event and can lead to substance abuse as a consequence. If you dispute this belief system and become mindful of it, you may say to yourself, "I feel bad I didn't perform as well as I know I can, but no one is perfect. It is in the past now and the best thing I can do is to move forward by doing better on my next project with a positive attitude." You can then get a new effect. Maybe instead of abusing substances, the new effect or consequence is that you relax in a bathtub or do some meditation. This effect has a much more positive impact on your life than the former.
Going back to the basics is important to do in recovery to break down treatment and take it one step at a time. It's all about your thoughts/beliefs and getting them to lead to new coping behaviors that are positive and not damaging to your life.
Blog by: Chelsea Kline