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Ever noticed that thoughts lead to emotions and emotions can lead to thoughts?
Which is great if you have loads of positive thoughts and happy feelings, and not so good if your thoughts lead you into beating yourself up, or having a negative viewpoint of your world and what’s in it.
Are that group of thoughts described by psychologists as twisted or distorted thinking, and there are ten that are commonly held up as examples.
Over-generalization occurs when something happens, and it is then generalised across to all aspects of life. For example, “You see a single negative event, such as a romantic rejection or a career reversal, as a never-ending pattern of defeat by using words such as “always” or “never” when you think about it.” (David D Burns, The Feeling Good Handbook, 1999 Revised)
How about this common everyday example: you’ve just washed your car and a bird dumps a dollop on it! Your instant response is, “why do birds always crap on my car just after I washed it?” Realistically, it is most likely untrue that this always happens. Don’t believe me? Think of how many times you’ve washed your car, and ask for evidence – how many times did a bird crap on your car immediately after it was washed? There might have been a few, but was it really every time you washed the car?
That kind of thinking leads you to feeling less than positive, about yourself, about birds, about your decision as to when to do something and your emotions will follow suit. The more you focus on laughing things off, seeing the funny side of things, using your creative imagination to create a funny story of this instance to tell your friends, the more you will see that the world and birds are not out to get you, that life just is that way sometimes.
When a person experiences depression, stress or anxiety, their thoughts are often distorted, and they may find themself using “always’ or “never” in their thoughts and spoken word, for example, “I’m never lucky” or “I’m never rewarded” Or “It’s never sunny when I come to visit…”
Keep an eye on your thoughts and words because they have power which either robs you of power or uplifts and empowers you.
I’m sure you will appreciate this little video I made for you. I’d love to hear from you when you connect on Comments or social media sites.