We tend to trust everything that goes on in our minds as absolute truth, but that’s far from accurate.
But sometimes the brain is a sneaky little bitch and needs to be checked. Not that it’s doing it to purposely deceive you, but sometimes there is a programing error that glitches in that noggin of yours. If you can’t trust that brain of yours then what can you trust? Not so quick there. Our brains can be trusted a majority of the time because they are beautifully designed to keep us safe. The problem is we sometimes make faulty connections between thoughts and events due to the brain always trying to connect ideas, thoughts, experiences, consequences, and whatnot—regardless if they are truly related or not.
Over time these non-helpful correlation become absolutes in our mind, rather than adhering to “correlation doesn’t equal causation”; a more appropriate rhetoric. Making assumptions is easy + time efficient, and we often connect events that don’t even relate to one another due to the proximity of occurrence. These errors of thought and beliefs are referred to as cognitive distortions.
Bottom line: cognitive distortions are biased perspectives we weave into the fabric of our reality and unknowingly reinforce over time.
No one likes to admit they have erroneously concluded something based off of distorted thinking. But we must if we want to improve the quality of our lives. These patterns of thought are incredibly difficult to change for many due to them being a daily reinforced pattern of the mind. Don’t fret though… What we don’t see we cannot change, and today we are bringing awareness to these fallacious thoughts, so you can begin to work on that brain of yours to achieve a happier life.
There tends to be five overarching cognitive distortions that most people operate from. If you can identify them, then you can work to change them.
1.) You interpret peoples’ behavior as an indication of how they feel about you—rather than understanding that it’s a reflection of how they feel about themselves. For example, if you are upset at yourself for a perceived failure, you may project that negativity onto others. If they understand that you are simply upset at yourself, they may be better able to show you compassion.
2.) You believe boundaries are offensive or selfish rather than a means to protect ones’ energy. We all need to set boundaries to take care of our mental health, and everyone will have different boundaries.
3.) You complain or shutdown when things go wrong rather than trusting that you’ll get through it. It’s normal to react negatively to negative situations, but we have the ability to reason and respond in proportion to the discontent if you make an effort to do so. You are not an automaton, you can think differently.
4.) You have zero tolerance for disagreements rather than understanding that everyone has their own beliefs based on their understanding and conditioning. This is basically the cancel culture, where you think everyone who doesn’t share your viewpoint is dumb and should be silenced.
5.) You find your worth through external validation rather than internal validation. This one is more self-explanatory. External Locus Of Control vs. Internal Locus Of Control. The problem with seeking external validation in exclusion is you are reliant on others evaluation of your intrinsic worth as a human. It’s a band-aide for true self worth.
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