Friday, June 29, 2012

Cognitive Distortion-Part 2

G'day....Welcome to part 2....did you get anything out of Part 1? I would love to hear about your experience after reading!

There is plenty of evidence that shows how our thoughts can create

stress in our lives; stress than can be avoided or diminished if

we learn how to control them. Thus the term Cognitive Restructuring

comes to mind. But what does this have to do with the Law of


The Law of Attraction is commonly linked to new age thoughts;

however, it is based on the premise that states "what we think

about the most, we become."

Therefore, if we want to attract positive outcomes, we must learn

to control our thoughts. This is how cognitive restructuring and

the Law of Attraction are linked. Does it make sense?

The internal dialogue that goes on inside our heads is constantly

interpreting, making assumptions, explaining, judging and prejudging

every situation we encounter daily and most of this goes on


The way we think can help or hinder us, we can make things seem

good or bad, better or worse, black or white, threatening or

non-threatening, dangerous or safe, difficult or easy, etc. etc...

you get the idea.

Some of us tend to see common events in a more positive light,

while others tend to view things in a negative way. This thought

pattern creates blockages, obstacles and disadvantages in their

life. So what is a person to do to change these negative habitual

thought patterns?

Cognitive restructuring is a process of recognizing these patterns.

Once they are out in the open, we can challenge and change them

from cognitive distortions to empowering thought patterns. This

process is called cognitive behavioral therapy, and trained

therapists can help you with that.

However, with a commitment to change and the right information,

you can achieve great results without the need of a therapist. It

all starts with the right attitude and making a conscious effort

to implement positive self talk.

Here are a few tips that will help you restructure your thoughts

so you can activate the Law of Attraction with ease:

1. Become Aware.

Make a conscious effort to become the observer of your internal

dialogue. It may be difficult at first but with a little practice

it can be accomplished. Commit for a day, then for two, and then a

week until it becomes a habit.

2. Keep a Diary.

Jot down your feelings and experiences every day for a week. At the

end of the 7 days, read what you wrote and examine your inner

dialogue. Do you notice a negative slant in any of your comments?

It is very possible that the event that caused you to write what

you did may not look as terrible or huge anymore. Armed with your

comments on paper you'll be able to examine your inner dialogue.

3. "Stop-Cancel" Technique

The next step would be to bring the practice live by canceling or

stopping your self talk right when it happens. For example, if you

are in a meeting and a coworker that you dislike makes a comment,

you may find yourself thinking something like "here we go again,

the "know it all" is talking again."

Consciously cancel the thought by saying to yourself "cancel, cancel"

or "stop" and switch the thought to a more positive one. Remember

that these thought patters hurt you, not your coworker. If you are

having negative thoughts when you are alone, you should say the words

"stop" or "cancel" aloud for a more powerful effect and immediately

substitute the thought for a more positive one.

4. Soften Your Words

Words are very powerful and they affect us when we hear them, when

we see them and when we speak them. Avoid using words like "hate",

"anger" or "pain". Substitute them for milder words with similar

meaning. For instance, instead of saying "I hate him", say "I don't

like him", and instead of "I have this horrible pain in my leg" say

something like "The discomfort in my leg is strong."

5. Open Your Mind to Change Blocking Statements

If you ever find yourself saying something like "I just can't do

this" or "That is an impossible task", first use the "stop-cancel"

technique and then open your mind to other possibilities.

Empower yourself by thinking of possible solutions to a problem,

think of somebody that has accomplished what you're trying to, and

analyze how they did it. You may want to start with a question like

"How can I tackle this situation" to incite your mind to come up

with solutions.

You can learn to overcome your faulty thinking and negative

programming. It's just a matter of willingness, commitment,

practice and patience.

Yes, it can take time but the rewards are enormous: Cognitive

Restructuring will help you activate the Law of Attraction with


 I don't now about you, but I got a lot out of these last two posts, I found that using the 'stop/cancel' teqhnique works wondrs for me!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cognitive Distortion: How Do You See The Events In Your Life?

G'morning Everyone! I realize posts have been far and few between; all I can do is apologize and blame it on my pain. I have to admit, if I thought more positively it would probably help wonders....this is what my post is today; how do our thoughts sabotage and/or make matters worse...Do you ever stop and realize that you had negatives thoughts and words being thrown around your brain without you even realizing it? I do, and I believe many of you do's almost like an automatic coffee maker, it gets set and it does the rest all on it's own....

             WE NEED TO STOP THIS!!

Read on to acquire some skill sets to put a stop to self-sabotaging!

Dr. Aaron T. Beck came up with the definition of cognitive
distortion and cognitive therapy back in the 60's. When he was
working with depressed patients he noticed that the common
denominator were the negative thoughts and conceptions that
seemed to guide their lives.

Dr. Beck termed these cognitions "automatic thoughts" as they
seemed to appear spontaneously. He classified cognitive distortion
into three groups: negative views about the self, negative views
about the world at large and negative views about the future.

By helping patients identify their thought patterns they were able
to think more realistically which lead them to feel better, heal
emotionally and behave more functionally in their environments.
This is how cognitive therapy was born.

As a matter of fact, it is quite possible for all of us to have
negative and unrealistic views at any point in our lives even
without a mood disorder diagnosis. We tend to call this phenomena
"pessimism" in which our mind fails to be objective for a specific
period of time, especially when under stress. Fortunately, this is
short lived for most of us.

Here are the 10 common cognitive distortion states. See which one
you recognize as an "old friend." We have all experienced at least
one and more likely several of them.

The good news is that by bringing them to awareness, we can start
working on them consciously. Always remember the premise that we
are the direct result of what we think of most of the time.

1. All or Nothing.

The characteristic of this distortion is the focus on extremes. You
can recognize this form of thinking if you commonly use "always" or
"never" in your statements; for instance "I never get to go to the
movies" or "I always get yelled at." As an all-or-nothing thinker
you are seeing things bigger and uglier than they really are.

2. Jumping to Conclusions.

These people jump into conclusions before hearing the whole story
or looking at the evidence. Usually their conclusion has a negative
slant; for instance "The party will be boring and nobody will talk
to me, so I won't go" or "She's so smart and beautiful. She won't
like me, so why bother trying to talk to her."

3. Mental Filter.

As the term implies it, these individuals filter information not
based on reality. They take the positive aspects of life for
granted while amplifying the negative events. None of the scenarios
are real; such as a person that believes their whole day is ruined
because of a traffic jam without giving much thought to the
promotion he got last week.

4. Disqualifying the Positive.

For these individuals positive occurrences are just coincidences
or a result of mere luck. They never give positive events the
importance they deserve. On the contrary, a negative episode is
usually seen as something terrible and huge, much worse than it
actually is or could be; for instance "I just won a trip to
Disneyland and know my kids would be thrilled, but I hate the
long lines. I will get sore feet so I won't go."

5. Over Generalization.

These individuals base their future life experiences in isolated
events that they have experienced; such as "I got a headache at
the beach last Sunday, so (my conclusion is) I get headaches at
the beach."

6. Magnification and Minimization.

The emphasis is put on the qualities of other people or events
by exaggerating them to extreme proportions. At the same time,
negative characteristics are minimized or ignored completely.
Uncomfortable situations look like catastrophes to these people;
such as "I got a flat tire, my day is ruined."

7. "Should" Statements.

Self expectations are huge and always self imposed. These people
are not flexible with themselves making their life a stream of
constant stress; for instance "I should have gone to the grocery
store first. I don't have time to go now."

8. Emotional Reasoning.

These individuals let their emotions interfere when making
decisions or getting to conclusions, without allowing themselves
to be reasonable. By becoming emotional they tend to distort
the facts. They end up feeling powerless; they believe unfair
situations "happen" to them. Their emotions won't let them see
events objectively; such as "You made me cry, so you are mean
to me."

9. Personalization.

People who personalize tend to blame either themselves or others
about the events that happen in their lives. When the blame is
self imposed it creates a lot of stress. These individuals are not
objective either; such as "I'm not good enough for you, that is why
you left me."

10. Labeling.

These people are always placing labels on others or on themselves.
These labels are usually inaccurate and have a negative slant to
them; for instance "I'm so stupid" or "She's so pretentious." These
labels are seeing as absolutes. Other qualities or other aspects of
ourselves or of others are ignored. We are all multi-dimensional
beings with both, qualities and defects. Placing labels don't let
us see this.

Often times, this negative thought and cognitive distortion
patterns begin in childhood and can go unnoticed for years. They
become part of who we are quite by habit. This is why becoming
aware is so important. Do you notice any of these distortions
in your internal dialogue?

Becoming aware of our thoughts and behaviors is the first step to
move beyond them and grow. The scientific process to get rid of
these is called "Cognitive Restructuring" and the rewards are not
only empowering but permanent.

Come back tomorrow for the 2nd part of this 2 part series....