When we suffer with mental disorders, stress, anxiety, depression.. we react from our fight or flight area of the brain. This area of the brain is for our self preservation only, for our survival. Very handy if we met a polar bear! we would run or fight. No room for positive thinking. But we do not want to fall into this area of the brain when we are up against daily life struggles, these problems are rarely life threatening so by reacting as though they are is a “distorted” reaction.
Unexpected bills, spilt coffee, sacked from work, while these things are tough, they are not life threatening. So they should not be treated from the same area of the brain that responds to life threatening scenarios. If they are treated from this area of the brain, you will experience “distortions” read the list. If you can relate to a few or indeed if it feels as though it was written for you, you should try Hypnotherapy to regain intellectual control.
Simply be reading this list, and re visiting it from time to time can be life changing. Once we have put our finger on the distortions, we get better at recognising them.
Negative Forecasting – You predict that things will turn out badly, or predict worst case scenarios, you experience a bad thing and multiply it, and predict that to be the outcome of your future.
All or Nothing thinking – You see things in black or white categories. If a situation falls short of perfect, you see it as total failure, or all bad.
Over-generalisation – You see one or more negative events as never-ending pattern of defeat. Characterised by using the words “always” or “never”
Mental filter (Also known as globalisation) – You reject positive detail and dwell on it exclusively, so that your whole view of reality becomes darkened. eg obsessive dwelling on a single criticism.
Discounting the positive – You reject positive experiences by insisting that they “don’t count” e.g. if you do a good job, you tell yourself that it wasn’t good enough or that anyone could have done as well.
Jumping to conclusions – Mind reading, without checking it out you arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you.
Magnification – You exaggerate the importance of your problems and shortcoming’s, or you minimise the importance of your desirable qualities, known as the “binocular trick”
Emotional reasoning – You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are, e.g. “I feel so inadequate. I must really be hopeless”
Should statements – You tell yourself that things should be the way you wanted or expected them to be. Characterised by the words “should” “must” “ought to” and “have to” Should statements can be directed against yourself causing guilt and frustration, or they can be directed at other people causing anger and frustration.
Negative labelling – An extreme form of all or nothing thinking in which you attach a negative label to either yourself or another person that describes the person in an exclusively negative way e.g. “im a loser” If the label is directed against another person eg “he’s just a s.o.b” you feel that the problem lies with the persons “character” or “essence” instead of with their thinking or their behaviour. You see them as totally bad. This makes you feel hostile or hopeless about improving things.
Personalisation and blame – Personalisation occurs when you hold yourself personally responsible for an event that isn’t entirely under your control. Blaming or scape goating is the opposite: you blame other people or circumstances for your problems but overlook the part you might be playing in it.