20 ‘and/but’ statements to immediately halt negative thought spirals
'And/but' statements are designed to help you reframe your feelings, and take an objective, practical approach to problems. Here, we’re sharing 20 examples
Two things can be true at once. It sounds like a basic concept, but it’s something that can often go out the window during times of stress and self-deprecation. For example, have you ever made a mistake and spiralled into a negative thought cycle before, ultimately, concluding that you’re a bad and undeserving person? If so, ‘and/but’ statements could be the tool that you’re looking for.
These statements are designed to help you recognise that we are not our negative thoughts, we are not our mistakes or our shortcomings. We are complex people, with perfectly reasonable needs, reactions, and emotions. To create them, you simply make a statement that sums up the problem and then add ‘and’ or ‘but’ to qualify it with a second that puts it into perspective or offers some reassurance. They can also function as affirmations, reminding you of a truth, belief, or value you have.
Once you’ve got your head around how to formulate them, you’ll likely want to start creating ‘and/but’ statements that are unique to your own situation, and your specific needs. But, here, we’ve gathered together examples for a range of scenarios, each designed to ground you during moments of heightened emotions.
‘I am a valued member of the team, and I do not need to take on every project.’
‘I made a mistake, but that doesn’t mean I’m bad at my job.’
‘I am dedicated to my job, and I also need to rest.’
‘I get nervous before meetings, but I’m still in control.’
‘I am capable and knowledgeable, and sometimes I need support.’
‘I enjoy being with my family, and sometimes I need a break.’
‘I sometimes feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, but I can ask for help.’
‘I feel others judge me, but I can set boundaries if I need to.’
‘I feel guilty when I can’t balance everything, but I’m trying my best.’
‘I am a capable and confident parent, and sometimes I need support from others.’
‘I love spending time with my partner, and I love time alone.’
‘We don’t always have to agree, but we always respect each other.’
‘My relationship uplifts me, but I’m still my own person.’
‘I feel frustrated by their actions, and we can come to a resolution.’
‘I am devoted to my relationship, and I make time to pursue my interests.’
‘I experience strong feelings, but I am in control.’
‘I feel negative emotions, and that’s OK and normal.’
‘I feel overwhelmed, but I can take a step back if I need to.’
‘My emotions are real and valid, but they won’t last forever.’
‘Sometimes things go wrong, and I am working on myself.’
Interested in working with a counsellor? Connect with a professional using the Counselling Directory.