Posts tagged ‘positve thoughts’

January 17, 2011

Cognitive Distortions: Win against it

by Dandy

When you think about your negative thoughts do you see a possibility that your mind plays tricks on you?  Can you see how negative thinking can distort your view?  Cognitive distortions-where your mind puts a spin on the events we experience, and attaches a not-so-objective interpretation to what we experience.  These distortions of thinking happen all the time.  They are especially common in people with depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. 

The theory of cognitive distortions came about in the 1960’s with Aaron T. Beck leading the way with his research.  Cognitive therapy has helped multitudes of people since then.

When we know to be aware of these thoughts, it becomes easy to see the cognitive distortions in ourselves and others.  Doing so in ourselves can bring lasting positive change in the way we experience stressors in our lives.

Here are the 10 most common (and officially recognized) cognitive distortions

  1. Overgeneralization: You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.
  2. Mental filter: You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively so that your vision of all reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that discolors the entire beaker of water.
  3. Disqualifying the positive: You reject positive experiences by insisting they “don’t count” for some reason or other. You maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences.
  4. Jumping to conclusions: You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion.                                                                                                               >>Mind reading: You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you and don’t bother to check it out.
    >>The Fortune Teller Error: You anticipate that things will turn out badly and feel convinced that your prediction is an already-established fact.
  5. Magnification (catastrophizing) or minimization: You exaggerate the importance of things (such as your goof-up or someone else’s achievement), or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny (your own desirable qualities or the other fellow’s imperfections). This is also called the “binocular trick.”
  6. Emotional reasoning: You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: “I feel it, therefore it must be true.”
  7. Should statements: You try to motivate yourself with shoulds and shouldn’ts, as if you had to be whipped and punished before you could be expected to do anything. “Musts” and “oughts” are also offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration, and resentment.
  8. Labeling and mislabeling: This is an extreme form of overgeneralization. Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself: “I’m a loser.” When someone else’s behavior rubs you the wrong way, you attach a negative label to him, “He’s a damn louse.” Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded.
  9. Personalization: You see yourself as the cause of some negative external event for which, in fact, you were not primarily responsible.
  10. All-or-nothing thinking: You see things in black and white categories. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.

Do you recognize yourself in any of these?  To conquer over negativity and depression/anxiety, we can and must stop these automatic thoughts and replace them with more positive ones.  We have the power to change negative thoughts.  We have the power to live a happier, more fulfilling life.

January 3, 2011

Kiss my muffin top: A study in self-image

by Dandy

Ah, the holiday indulgence!  Yes, the past six weeks I’ve allowed myself ample amounts of fudge, cookies, cocktails, white chocolate chex mix (oh, baby), brownies, fancy hor dourves, the list goes on and on.  So all the work I put into last summer and fall to lose the 10 pounds that had really been bothering me was thrown out the window.  I had been so proud of myself when I got to my ideal weight.  I felt so good that I had really started to take great care of myself.  I have never been an exercise person, so I really took myself out of my comfort zone when I walked into a gym for the first time in my life and purchased a membership.  The exercise made my self-esteem soar.  I had no idea that exercise could do this for me.  I just wanted to whittle my waist a little.  I had more energy and stamina.  My mind felt clearer and sharper.  All these good feelings motivated me to eat healthier.  I had no more interest in the high fat, high calorie diet I had most of my life.  I bought a juicer and was pouring down the fruits and veggies.  My skin was glowing and my finger nails were really strong.  I started drinking green smoothies and made vegan lasagna

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October 25, 2010

Mastering our thoughts

by Dandy

Do you ever have moments where you think everything is out of control? That there’s chaos and turmoil whirling about you? Moments where you are short-tempered and sarcastic to your loved ones? I certainly do. Sometimes I huff and puff, and stomp around the house with an ugly scowl on my face. I say things I later regret. I feel the physical symptoms in my body. My face is hot and flushed, my heart races, my mouth goes dry, and my head starts to pound. I feel that loss of control and it distresses me even more, because I’m letting it happen. Then I feel shame for loosing control over myself. Shame for showing my partner my ugly behavior.

I like to think of myself as an advanced human being. I contemplate, I read voraciously, I study. I constantly seek to better myself. But in those moments of anger and distress I blame others. In those moments I feel I am a victim of my environment. Something made me feel that way. In those moments it’s like being in a black hole.
Our thoughts exist to create situations, events, and circumstances to reflect back to us what we really believe. Our thoughts help to create our experiences. What we experience is from what we believe, or think about. To change our experiences we have to change our thoughts.

We attract experiences to us that match our energy pattern – the energy created by our thoughts. Having a positive attitude comes from the way we think.  Positive thoughts literally puts us in touch with positive experiences.

 

If I believe that life is hard and unfair, then it will be so.  If I believe there is chaos in my house and life, then there will be.  If I believe I have no control over myself, then I won’t.  If I believe anxiety leads me, then it will.  Realizing that my thoughts and beliefs determine my experiences, will stop me in my tracks in those distressing moments.

 I believe the next distressing moment I have I will be able to keep my energy positive.  I believe I will be able to gain my composure and not make sarcastic comments.  The next distressing moment I have I will experience positive thoughts.  So bring it on life!

“The life of inner peace, being harmonious and without stress, is the easiest type of existence.”  Norman Vincent Peale

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