You can manifest good or bad things in your life. The stories we tell ourselves have power. We can’t control the thoughts coming to us, but we can narrate the direction, or change the storyline.
Tag: #cognitive psychology
Dive into Stillness
My days have been filled with distractions. Creativity and ideas has been blocked. Space and stillness is needed for new ideas to form. It is hard to sit still. Our ego wants to be entertained at all times, but we need to reduce the ego’s power. Get back to a place of peace, ideas and creativity. Ovrrstimulation does nothing for us.
Mindful Reminder Post
Just wanted to put this reminder out there. You will not agree with everyone’s opinions on subject matters of the self, others, and ideas. Try not to put your energy, or get angry over a different opinion, even if it is offensive, or crazy to you. Let them have their opinion. Focus your energy on yourself, your energy, your values, and your opinion. Don’t let the ego win. The ego wants everyone to agree with it. The ego wants to be right. We are all different. We all have different opinions. You can’t change that. No matter how angry, or defensive you get. Their opinions only hurt you if you let it. Agree to disagree and move forward. Educate others on your opinion, and open yourself up to others. Ignore hateful opinions. You don’t need that type of energy in your life. When you focus your energy on yourself, and the people who support you. You have no time to worry about others who add no value to your life.
Dealing With Victim Mentality
This mindset holds the belief that the world, and others are against you. That one cannot change anything, so the individual does not bother to try. It creates helplessness. It creates dependency. They put the blame on others, and the world for their misfortune. One can be a victim, but one should try to eventually move forward, rather than stay stuck in the past. This mindset can leave you stuck in self-pity and blaming others, rather than searching from within to find solutions to help you improve your situation. I am not talking about victims of traumatic experiences, but rather people who make themselves victims in times of struggle.
Victim mentality keeps you a prisoner in a state of helplessness, paranoia, frustration, depression and misery, to name a few. The blame is on others, which makes it easier for the individual to sit back and do nothing. Although, others can be at fault. It isn’t helpful to put all your energy on blaming and hating others, and the world. You can’t control life situations, and you can’t control others. How exactly can that help you?
What we can use that energy on is making changes on an individual level. Focus on changing our thoughts, feelings, and actions towards the situation. Everyone will be wronged in life. Unfair crap will happen to everyone. We will all have a shot at a bad experience. No one is exempt. You can trap yourself in why me’s?, but honestly why not you? I can guarantee when you have a bad day, so our many others. The best way to cope is to accept the situation, learn, grow, and move forward. Each day will get better.
Just remember that you may perceive life as horrible, but in reality it is not all bad. Even through our struggles, there is also good in our lives. You may lose a job, but you still have a supportive family to help you out. Your car may break down, but you still got a roof over your head. You may break up with a partner, but you still have loving family and friends to lean on and talk to. We tend to blow up the negative, and downplay the positives.
It is normal to feel this way when something bad happens, and that is okay, but there is a point when you got to stop playing victim, and figure out a way to move forward, and grow on a personal level. You become stagnant when you focus your energy on changing others. It is easier to put the blame on others. It takes pressure off of us. You can’t make the world magically fit into what you would like. This attitude doesn’t make you feel better. It just makes you bitter, unproductive and miserable.
People will crap on you sometimes. People will do things that you perceive as hurtful and wrong. You may also do things that hurt others. Life isn’t black and white. There are more sides to the story, than your own. Bad things happen to good people, because bad things happen to everyone. Life is a lesson. Don’t focus your energy on being the victim. Focus on being a fighter instead. Having victim mentality takes away our accountability. It takes away our freedom of choice. It takes away our control to change.
I like to end things with a quote that fits well with this topic. I am really enjoying this book Radical Awakening by Dr.Shefali. She has such insight, and knowledge to become a truly awakened and authentic individual. I recommend picking this one up.
“When we realize that both the problem and the solution lie in ourselves, the process of change begins…Without this, even if the other person changes, we render ourselves beholden to their change. When we see ourselves as our own enslaver, we create a path towards liberation…When we release all external tethers, we unbridle our inner power and free ourselves to be unapologetically autonomous.” Dr.Shefali(Radical Awakening)
I Choose My Emotions
How you feel is your choice. You may think it is predetermined, or out of your control, but from my experience with switching my emotional state. I believe we can be in control with how we feel. The reason I write this is because I had my own personal experience last week with switching my emotional state.
I had a bad day ay work, I was frustrated and annoyed. I felt the same way the next morning. I just didn’t want to go into work. I was in a bad mood. During my mindful routine. I decided I just didn’t want to go into work feeling upset and down. I decided to switch my thought pattern, and tried to figure out ways to make my day at work better, ways I wasn’t overworking myself.
I realized I put too much pressure on myself that day. I will prefer to go with the flow the following day. I know at the end of the day the work will get done, and if I stay a bit later, so be it, that is extra money for me. I realized I need to do things for myself to make things go more smoothly. It is all about putting things into your own hands. Only you as an individual know how and what to do to make things better for oneself. No one can do it for you. If you think that. Misery will continue to consume your life.
Once I did all of this. I felt much better. I felt more relaxed, at peace, and happier. I was able to be more calm and happier throughout the day. The work day went more smoothly, and I was able to have enjoyable encounters with my coworkers. It is all in how you think that helps shape your emotional path. I chose peace and contentment, rather than anger and frustration. Why be upset? That doesn’t help me. That doesn’t make me feel good. It doesn’t improve my life. I chose the path that makes my life better. This is something we can all tap into whenever we can.
Taking Things Personally
We are all guilty of this. It is in our nature to want to belong and be liked as social creatures. The thing is taking things personally all the time can have a negative effect on our peace of mind and well-being. It is okay to feel this way at times. We are human. We feel emotions. If not, we would be a psychopath, but we should learn not to allow taking things personally to consume our lives that it creates a world of misery and stress. I like to discuss a couple of reasons behind why we may take things personally. Being aware of these habits can help us learn why we may do this, and help us move forward, so that we don’t continue to fall into this trap.
- Perfectionism-Not only do you want to be perfect for yourself. You want to appear perfect in front of others. This need to be perfect makes it hard for one to cope with criticism and judgment. It will hurt your pride when someone tells you that you made a mistake, or there is a flaw in your work. This criticism can be well intentioned, but your need to be perfect makes it hard for you to listen or reason. You think this is an attack on you.
The problem with being a perfectionist is that it is unrealistic. You are not perfect. No one is. Once you accept this. It becomes easier to handle criticism without taking it too personally. It will still sting at first, but you will realize that their criticism can help you grow. Now if the criticism isn’t helpful, or it comes from someone who doesn’t know you. There is nothing to be upset about. They don’t know you, and don’t care about your feelings and thoughts, so why care so much about them? The only opinion you should focus on is the ones that help you grow and evolve as a person, or on your skillset.
- Putting others before oneself-Your thoughts and feelings don’t matter. Others matter more. I am happy if others are happy, so you can see why it would be easy to take things personally if others opinion are more important than your own. You will try your best to please others.
There is nothing wrong with trying to please others, but your opinion of yourself, and taking care of your needs should come first. People will say things that will hurt you, but if you value yourself and your opinions. Your self-confidence will deflect that hurtful language, especially coming from strangers.
- Lack of confidence-Going along with the last habit. The lack of appreciation of yourself and your strengths can be a trigger for taking things personally.
If you have confidence, and truly believe in what you can do. If you focus on your strengths, rather your weaknesses. It makes it easier to not take things personally. You have flaws. You won’t do things perfectly. You will make mistakes, but I know I have plenty of great qualities that makes me an awesome person. Once you recognize this, taking things personally won’t be as much of an issue.
- Storytelling-As I mentioned before, our thoughts are our stories. We create scenarios in our head of a situation. It isn’t always based on the facts. We may think this person is out to get us, or they hate us, or they just don’t like me. But it is all in how we think about the situation that creates anger and frustration, not the situation itself. We tend to create stories that make us the victim, and the other person the villain. It can be a good story, but it doesn’t mean it is true.
Cognitive mediation is the idea that things in the world don’t cause emotions. Instead, it’s our thoughts about things that affect how we feel(medium.com)
A person cuts you off, someone isn’t listening to you, someone doesn’t say hi back to you. Your thoughts about these situations trigger your response. Not the situation itself. There are plenty of responses you can take here. Get mad, or angry. Insult them. Get upset that they pissed you off, and ruined your day. You can also take a step back, breathe, recognize their mistake, or maybe the person didn’t hear you, maybe the person had an important place to go, maybe the person listening had other things on their mind. It isn’t always about you. Also recognize that you probably made these same mistakes as well. No one is perfect. You got to remember not everyone thinks the same, or has the same set of values. What may be offensive to you, may not be for another.
- Your surrounded by negative people-If it is growing up in a toxic household, or in a toxic relationship, or friendship. These people can help define who you are and how you think. If they treat you like crap, and say harsh things about you. The belief in these thoughts will set in. It is much easier to break someone down, than to lift them up. You become more sensitive to others input when all you heard about yourself were negative things. This can also go for toxic positivity as well. If you are constantly saying positive things. The person may not react to criticism very well. We need a balance to thrive as individuals.
It is important to be around people who make you feel good. Who help build you up. Who help you grow. No one has time for toxic relationships(negative or positive). The best bet is to remove yourself from the source. That isn’t always easy. I am not saying it is easy, but it needs to be done to live a life with less self-hatred and criticism.
- Toxic positivity-There is such a thing as too much positivity. Being positive is great. Better that, than negative, but we also need negativity in our lives. Like is not perfect. People are not perfect. The inability to see flaws, mistakes, and the bad is a problem. Just focusing on the good can make things difficult for an individual when things don’t go smoothly, or their mistakes and flaws are mentioned. They will feel offended and take it too personally.
Life has its ups and downs. The good and the bad. People have their strengths and weaknesses. Acknowledging this makes it easier to cope with criticism and not take things too personally. If they recognize your flaws, so do you, nothing new, keep it moving.
- Recognize the trolls/negative people-There are people, especially online that want to bring others down to their level. They want to hurt others. They want to upset others. Why give them that power? Don’t give them what they want. Remember the source. Don’t let a stranger/associate dictate how you feel about yourself. Everyone’s opinion doesn’t matter to you. Think, is this helping me?, no, then move on.
Always remember to think, is this benefiting me or not? Take in what can help you, and ignore the ones that do not. No need to stress over an opinion that doesn’t matter. That opinion doesn’t define you. The person that does is you.
You can never stop the sting of taking things personally. It will happen to all of us. You can just learn habits or tricks that can help reduce the intensity and duration of these feelings. There is no need to suffer over what others think of you. I am sure there are plenty of others who think you are awesome. Focus on what is important. Your opinion, and the opinion of others who build you up.
Mindful Reminder Post(Worry)
Just a reminder that your struggles at the moment will pass. I had a day last week where I felt anxious and worried. The unpredictable experiences of life can get to us. Just remind yourself that it may suck, or be bad right now, but the worry and struggle will pass. Having this reminder helped me cope, and allowed me not to be as anxious as I used to be. Life is in constant motion. The feelings and experience at the moment will pass. You will get through this hiccup just like the many ones before. Our thoughts tend to exaggerate the situation. They tend to focus on the negative outcomes. Awareness of this can help us counter those thoughts in a more positive or realistic way. It may not flip our negative mindset entirely, but just a bit of awareness comes a long way.
Changing Cognitive Distortions
I discussed Cognitive Distortions a couple of posts ago in Cognitive Distortions. I like to take this post to list some techniques that can help you change those distorted views. Dr. Burns listed plenty of help techniques. I will discuss a couple here. I recommend buying the book to get the full scope of techniques. It is important to remove these distortions from permeating our lives, so that we can move towards healing and living more peacefully.
- Positive Reframing– Putting your focus on the negative thoughts and difficult emotions one is feeling. Ask yourself these two questions: (1) What are the advantages, or benefits to these type of emotions and thoughts? (2) What do these thoughts and emotions tell me about myself and my values that is wonderful?
Feelings of anxiety can show that an upcoming event is meaningful to you, or that you are doing something outside your comfort zone, which can be something beneficial to you in the long run. Looking at these emotions is a different light can help alleviate the negativity associated with these difficult emotions. You may start to feel better about an upsetting situation.
- Straightforward Technique-This one is pretty straightforward as the name states, but as straightforward as it is, this can be difficult for most to do. Try to switch your perspective to a more positive, or realistic approach, rather than negative.
Ask yourself questions, Is this negative thought really true? Do I truly believe it? Is there another way to look at it? I absolutely love this technique, and use it all the time. Switching your perspective can make such a difference to your state of mind.
- Double Standard Technique-Rather than putting yourself down. Try talking to yourself in a way you would talk to a good friend you care about.
It is so much easier to be cruel to ourselves, and lift other up when they are down, but we should learn to show the same kindness to ourselves. When you say negative things to yourself, remind yourself if this is something you would say to a friend who is going through the same thing, or who would say those negative things about themselves.
- Examine the Evidence-Rather than looking at things in a negative light. Try to look into the facts of what you are saying.
Is what you are saying really true? What are the facts? What does it show? Telling yourself you are a failure. Look up the definition, does that truly describe you. In most cases this would not be the case.
- Socratic Method-This is when you take a deeper look into what you are saying, and analyze if it is true or not.
If you think you are a failure, or a awful person, or suck at life. Look into what those words really mean. Do you truly fail all the time to be a failure, or have you had some achievements? Are you really awful?, or did you make a mistake, or make one bad decision out of all the great things you do? Does life truly suck, or are you having one bad moment? Is that really relative to you, or is this something that happens to everyone? This method allows you to look into what you are saying, and find insight to the truth of the matter. It showcases our faulty thought patterns.
- Thinking in Shades of Gray-We usually face problems, because we tend to see things in black and white, but things in life aren’t normally that way.
There are good and bad things about oneself and life. Experiences in life aren’t always great or bad. You are not perfect, and one mistake doesn’t make you a horrible human being. Learning to look at both sides is important.
- Semantic Method-This method is about looking at the language you use to define life experiences. Instead of saying, “I shouldn’t have made this mistake this,” you can say, “It would have been better if I have not made that mistake.” Instead of saying, I can’t do this, it is too hard” try saying, “It will be hard to do this, but I can try my best. Instead of saying, “I hate how I look,” try saying “I don’t look my best today.” Instead of thinking, “I hate my life,” try thinking, “this moment sucks, but it will pass.”
Finding better wording can allow one space to practice self-kindness and compassion. It is all in how you word things. Wording things in a more compassionate, and positive way can help you move through difficult situations much more smoothly.
- Let’s Define Terms-This method allows you to actually look at the definition you are labeling yourself.
When you label yourself a loser, failure, foolish, ugly, horrible etc,. Once you look up the actual term for these things. You realize that doesn’t define you. When you actually look up these definitions. You realize how absurd it is to define oneself in those ways.
- Be Specific-It is important to focus on the specific situation, problem, mistake flaw etc,. It is easy to globalize our problems, mistakes, flaws to other areas. It is just one bad day, one flaw, one mistake. There are plenty of good days, things to appreciate, and strengths to yourself and your life.
- Self-Monitoring-This method is about keeping tracking of all your negative thoughts, either writing them down when you have them, or put the number of how many negative thoughts came to mind on a watch or phone. This can make you aware of how often you have negative thoughts. Having this awareness cultivates a diminishing of the negative thoughts.
I really like the self-monitoring technique. Awareness is very important to self-improvement and recovery. Having a visual really can open our eyes, and allow us to make changes.
I believe all these techniques above can be beneficial to changing our distorted ways of thinking. It can help cultivate a healthier mindset, and peace of mind. There are plenty more techniques in the book, but wanted to limit it to the ones I liked the best. I recommend the book if you like to know more, but I think these techniques suffice. It is important to be aware of our faulty thought patterns, so we can figure out ways to cope and manage them, so that our lives can be more fulfilled.
Pros and Cons of Complaining
I wanted to write this post, because I recently decided I didn’t want to partake in complaining anymore. I don’t believe it is useful to me, and it permeates negativity. Now there can be some benefits to complaining, which involves venting. There is nothing wrong with expressing our troubles from time to time as long as it is not habitual. I read an article on complaining titled Hidden Benefits and Pitfalls of Complaining (verywellmind). I thought it would be helpful to discuss these benefits and pitfalls.
Venting is Necessary
Bottling in your thoughts and emotions can take a toll on a person. Sometimes it is necessary to let things out. It can give you relief. It can help you feel heard. When I get to a point when I have to let it out. I always feel much better. It can relieve stress. Letting it all out can finally help you get some answers as well. It can be from the help of the person you are venting to, or maybe now that you found relief. You can move on to figuring out what can be done to help you.
It Provides Validation
Knowing that someone gets it, and that you are not alone can be helpful. Having someone sympathize with you, or agree with you showcases that you have a right to feel and think the way you do, and that something isn’t wrong with you. Complaining to others gives us that validation we need to move forward.
Now this pro can also be a con as well. If you talk to the wrong person who validates complaints that put you in the wrong, or they agree with a distorted point of view. That type of validation can be harmful.
Getting Another Perspective
By complaining to others you may be able to gain some other perspectives on the situation. When we complain, we tend to focus on our perspective, we may see things in black and white terms, or blow the situation out of proportion. Talking to another person may help you see that your perspective may not align with reality. This can help give you new insight to the situation. You may realize things are not as bad as you think, or you shouldn’t really be as angry or upset as you feel.
It can be easier finding solutions when you have more people involved. Complaining to others may make it easier for you to find a solution. It can help open you up to others input, and possible solutions you didn’t think of.
Complaining Leads to Action
Sometimes it is important to complain to the right people who can help make changes. I once complained to my bosses about a situation at work. They heard it, and fixed it, problem solved. Sometimes it is that easy. Complaints that are work related, or any situation that is outside your control. It is best to complain to people who can help you. I had coworkers complain to me about work related stuff that can probably be solved by talking to a supervisor or lead. I can’t help them with these problems, so it is useless complaining to me. This is why it is important to complain to the right people. If you do, then things can get done to make things better for you.
Focusing on the Problem, Not the Solutions
This is a big one when it comes to cons of complaining. Putting your attention on the problem will leave you stuck, feeling hopeless, depressed, angry, and frustrated. You will never be satisfied, and your perspective will only focus on the negative. This type of mindset when it comes to complaining can cultivate misery for an individual.
Constant complaining can lead to a pessimistic outlook. Being a habitual complainer cultivates negativity.
Misery loves company. Complaining can be contagious. Complainers may gravitate towards others who complain. A complainer may get you going, and get you to complain as well. It may start out as validating each other, but end up turning into an angry mob, or a negativity circle of friends.
Drain on Others
Constant complaining can definitely be a drain on others, and bring others down. People have their own problems. They don’t want to be dragged down by someone else’s problems. We should try to build and lift others up, not bring them down. Constant complaining can push others away from you, leaving you with no support system to help.
I will say this if complaining leaves you feeling worse, gets nothing done, and it is constantly about the same topic. This type of complaining is toxic. It serves no purpose, but to drain you of life, happiness, and peace of mind. Complaining has its good moments from time to time. When you need someone to listen. When there is a solution on the horizon. When you had enough, and need to voice your thoughts.
I am not against complaining if it can help you, or myself in any way. I will only complain if it benefits me, if it doesn’t, I will let it be, and keep moving forward. Sometimes things in life sucks, sometimes things don’t go your way, sometimes people disappoint, that is life. There is no need to wallow in negativity about it. Tell yourself, things may suck now, but there will be plenty of things to brighten your life as well. Life has its good and bad moments. You got to deal with the bad ones, to appreciate and enjoy the good moments.
Little Mindful Reminders
Hello my lovely followers. I am staying home preparing for the storm coming. I just wanted to post some mindful reminders I use for myself. I remembered having them, while doing my mindful evening routine. I haven’t read them in awhile. It is nice to look back on them. Some are more relevant to me at the moment, than others. Maybe they can be helpful for you, or maybe you have, or can make some of your own. I did revamp some of them. I also make new reminders if something new pops up, and I want to make a reminder for future references. I think these are nice to have around whenever you need that reminder. Please don’t mind the handwritten, not the best hand writer, but still wanted to show them, because hey, we all got our flaws. I still think these are useful.
There is also something else I like to write. I wrote down some phrases as well. At first I wrote down ‘Be this’ or ‘Be that,’ but then switched it to ‘Find this’ or ‘Find that.’ I realized that saying “be” makes it sound easy, it isn’t, find is a better word, because you got to search and work for these things in life. It won’t come easy, but it is available to you at all times. Have a lovely day or night everyone. Much love<333