What are you telling yourself?

09/12/2013 – Feeling overwhelmed? Here’s why

Psychologists suggest that it is not external experiences that contribute to our stress, but rather our thoughts and feelings.

Here’s a list of ten cognitive distortions that may be weighing you down, and some helpful examples of “counter” statements you can use to get you in a far healthier state of mind:

1. All or Nothing Thinking:  Seeing things in black and white; that if one thing goes wrong you think you are a total failure.

Counter Statement:  “This is just one event that didn’t go the way I planned, but it doesn’t mean I’m not a successful person.”

2. Overgeneralization:  When something bad happens, you overgeneralize and think that something bad is always happening to you, when in fact, it isn’t.

Counter Statement:  “It seems the whole world is against me sometimes, but I know that’s really not true; many good things do come my way.”

3. Mental Filter:  You only see the negative in a situation and ignore the positive.

Counter Statement:  “My boss didn’t like my marketing plan, but she really loved my choice of graphic design.”

4. Disqualifying the Positive:  Finding a reason to not accept positive feedback.

Counter Statement:  “It made me feel good when my co-worker said I did a great job on my presentation. I know she meant it.”

5. Jumping to Conclusions:  When you make a negative interpretation and conclusion even though there are no definite facts for it.

Counter Statement:  “This traffic looks pretty bad, but I know I’ll make it home eventually.”

6. Catastrophizing:  You exaggerate the importance of things and they become way beyond their reality.

Counter Statement:  “My boss didn’t get back to me when he said he would, but I’m sure he’s just busy. I can check in with him again at another time.”

7. Emotional Reasoning:  This is when you assume that your negative emotions reflect the way things really are.

Counter Statement:  “I might feel a little undervalued, but when I take a step back I do see that my hard work is acknowledged.”

8. Should Statements:  When you try to motivate yourself by having too many “should” and “shouldn’t” about how you should act, or how the world should be.

Counter Statement:  “It’s healthy for me to accept some things the way they are.”

9. Labelling:  Giving yourself or others a definitive label that cannot be an accurate description.

Counter Statement:  “I know it’s not helpful to say that I’m weak or a failure. I’m a good person and I can grow, learn, and improve myself.”

10. Personalization:  When you see yourself as personally responsible for an outside event; basically, you confuse influence with control.

Counter Statement:  “The downturn has affected the economy in unforeseen ways, but I’m doing well at steering my business in the right direction.”

Copyright © 2013 Newfangled Ideas, All rights reserved.

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