It can take years to figure out the simplest things. It took me years to realize that there are certain sentence beginnings I’m simply not allowed to finish. It took me a long time to realize that those phrases are not good for my mental health.
Here’s an example. I used to use the phrase “If only…” all the time. Then I realized it was a toxic phrase for me.
If a sentence starts “If only…” I’m not allowed to finish it. It's simple.
Give it a try yourself. Think about which sentences lead you into unhealthy thinking, and make a simple rule for yourself that you will not use those words together. I know it sounds kind of silly but it actually works. I find myself often saying, “Oh, I can’t start a sentence that way.” It works!