09/12/2013 - Feeling overwhelmed? Here’s why
Psychologists suggest that it is not external experiences that contribute to our stress, but rather our thoughts and feelings.
Here’s a list of ten cognitive distortions that may be weighing you down, and some helpful examples of “counter” statements you can use to get you in a far healthier state of mind:
1. All or Nothing Thinking: Seeing things in black and white; that if one thing goes wrong you think you are a total failure.
Counter Statement: “This is just one event that didn’t go the way I planned, but it doesn’t mean I’m not a successful person.”
2. Overgeneralization: When something bad happens, you overgeneralize and think that something bad is always happening to you, when in fact, it isn’t.
Counter Statement: “It seems the whole world is against me sometimes, but I know that’s really not true; many good things do come my way.”
3. Mental Filter: You only see the negative in a situation and ignore the positive.
Counter Statement: “My boss didn’t like my marketing plan, but she really loved my choice of graphic design.”
4. Disqualifying the Positive: Finding a reason to not accept positive feedback.
Counter Statement: “It made me feel good when my co-worker said I did a great job on my presentation. I know she meant it.”
5. Jumping to Conclusions: When you make a negative interpretation and conclusion even though there are no definite facts for it.
Counter Statement: “This traffic looks pretty bad, but I know I’ll make it home eventually.”
6. Catastrophizing: You exaggerate the importance of things and they become way beyond their reality.
Counter Statement: “My boss didn’t get back to me when he said he would, but I’m sure he’s just busy. I can check in with him again at another time.”
7. Emotional Reasoning: This is when you assume that your negative emotions reflect the way things really are.
Counter Statement: “I might feel a little undervalued, but when I take a step back I do see that my hard work is acknowledged.”
8. Should Statements: When you try to motivate yourself by having too many “should” and “shouldn’t” about how you should act, or how the world should be.
Counter Statement: “It’s healthy for me to accept some things the way they are.”
9. Labelling: Giving yourself or others a definitive label that cannot be an accurate description.
Counter Statement: “I know it’s not helpful to say that I’m weak or a failure. I’m a good person and I can grow, learn, and improve myself.”
10. Personalization: When you see yourself as personally responsible for an outside event; basically, you confuse influence with control.
Counter Statement: “The downturn has affected the economy in unforeseen ways, but I’m doing well at steering my business in the right direction.”
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