Recognizing and Taming Your Cognitive Distortions for Healthier Living

Several things that I have attained, in multiple realms, appear like they would need whole distinct skill sets, however; I have learned and discovered an unanticipated connection. The first tends to be overcoming a spiteful prescription painkillers addiction, while the other one is training and learning to be a wellness and health coach. The common practices and skills of these experiences comprise:

  • Presence at the moment plus mindfulness
  • A concentration on gratitude for everything that is happening well in your life plus for people around you
  • Connection with other people, honest and open communication, and empathy
  • Taking part in healthy habits: good nutrition, exercise, and sleep

In addition, a crucial element for accomplishing the focus plus serenity one should be a wellness professional or coach, as well as to go beyond an addition, tends to be learning how to identify and neutralize the cognitive distortions you apply. Cognitive distortions refer to internal psychological biases and filters that increase your misery, increase your anxiety, and make you feel bad about yourself. Your brains are persistently processing lots of info and to cope with this, your brains look for shortcuts to minimize your mental burden. At times, these shortcuts tend to be beneficial, while in other instances, they may lead to more harm.

Unhelpful Thinking and the Reason for its Occurrence

Contemplative Thinking – Negative patterns of thought that loop recurrently in your mind – is prevalent in multiple psychiatric disorders. This sort of thinking leads to the alienation plus unhappiness that you feel. You certainly don’t have to suffer from a psychiatric diagnosis to reflect unhelpfully. Most people do this in response to their anxieties concerning some challenges and circumstances. Rumination may symbolize a continuing endeavor to establish solutions and insights you are concerned about. Unluckily, with these cognitive filters’ presence, it may decentralize into a depression-worsening plus counterproductive brooding type. 

The unsupportive filters make all life situations you find yourself in that much more challenging and anxiety-provoking.

Unhelpful Cognitive Distortions

The key cognitive distortions include:

  • Personalization: Our group lost because of me.
  • Black-and-white: I don’t have anything worth saying.
  • Must-ing and should-ing (applying self-critical language that pressures you): I must be losing weight.
  • Jumping to conclusions: The doctor will tell me I’m diabetic.
  • Mental filter (concentrating on the negative, for instance, one health change aspect which you failed to do excellently): I am awful at getting adequate sleep.
  • Minimization and magnification (minimizing the positive, magnifying the negative): It was only a single healthy meal.
  • Overgeneralization: I will never get a spouse.
  • Fortune-telling: My level of cholesterol is going to be extra high.
  • Labeling: I’m not a healthy individual.
  • Comparison (comparing only a single section of your situation or performance to another’s such that it tends to make you appear negatively): All of my colleagues are more joyful than me.
  • Disqualifying the positive aspects: I answered that excellently, but I think it was simply a lucky guess.
  • Catastrophizing (combination of all-or-nothing thinking and fortune-telling): The spot on my skin is possibly skin cancer.

Emotional Reasoning Without Considering the Facts

Many people take part in emotional reasoning, a procedure where your negative feelings concerning yourself inform your thoughts in any facts’ absence to support these hostile feelings. Your feelings plus emotions about a circumstance become your real outlook of the circumstance, regardless of present info to the contrary. Besides, emotional reasoning frequently applies many cognitive filters to withstand it, for instance, disqualifying and catastrophizing the positive. An instance of this may comprise thinking:

  • I’m a terrible student – Even when you are getting excellent grades
  • I’m a whale – Even when you are losing weight
  • My spouse is cheating on me – With no proof for this since jealousy is driving you
  • Nobody loves me – Even when you have friends.

How do You Change and Challenge Cognitive Distortions

A huge portion of dismantling your distortions is merely being cognizant of them as well as paying attention to the way you are structuring things for yourself. Excellent psychological tendencies are as crucial as excellent physical habits. In case you structure things in a positive, healthy way, you almost undoubtedly will experience less isolation and anxiety. This doesn’t imply that you ignore feelings, problems, and challenges, only that you approach them with an “I can” attitude rather than allowing your feelings and thoughts to increase your anxiety.

As a professional who used to get tripped up by such filters, I have learned to understand and remind myself that everything that emerges, I will handle it to my ability. I trust my future or prospective self to cope effectively with everything that life throws at me. Thus, there’s no reason to be wary about future challenges. If I’m afraid of what may occur, then I have more than one issue to worry about: whatever hypothetical encounter that may not even occur in the future. Fear tends to be the mind-killer and being afraid or anxious will only make you less effective.

As a professional, I will tell you that if a person cuts you off in a jam or traffic, they are only taking away or cutting off a certain random car and not you since they don’t know who you are. Therefore, you should not take it personally. If you personalize such situations, you will only make yourself upset.

Also, I avoid pointless catastrophizing (although this may be hard when thinking about the entire occurrences around the globe, including climate change). I slide into passionate reasoning. Nobody is devoid of the entire emotions that may undermine their logical processes. Every person backslides into old habits. You should always aim for progress and not perfection.

Once you set yourself free from available unhelpful cognitive filters, then you will be successful and enjoy your relationships.

Seeking Support for Dealing with Cognitive Distortions

In case you need help with tough cognitive distortions, experts such as coaches and therapists are skilled at aiding individuals to transform awkward thinking ways. When you can’t afford or find a coach or therapist, there are other sources available, for instance, mutual support groups, employee assistance programs, group coaching or group therapy, and online communities. Your health insurance or primary care doctor can assist to link you with other helpful resources.

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