What are you thinking right now? Is it what this post will be all about or something more personal? Whatever your answer, thinking is what we do. All the time.
The important factor is not that we think, but how we think. Very often one finds oneself in a more negative state of thinking than a positive one. Self-defeating thoughts can cause havoc in ones life. So, can we do something about it? And if we can, what or better still, how can we be more positive.
Ever heard the saying you are what you eat? Well, the same goes for …what you think. That is definitely true. We tend to believe that what goes on in our minds are the truth. In general many of us sway towards the negative issues and not the positive ones. It’s utterly and completely normal.
However, such thoughts easily can be fake. So, to put it into relevant context, we believe in Fake News. Shocking revelation, if you ask me. You may right now sit up and think (!) 'what the hell? How dare he says I believe in fake news!' If you focus on your distorted thoughts then you do trust and believe in such news.
GET INSIDE YOUR OWN HEAD
General distorted thoughts are called cognitive distortions and are categorised into 3 groups:
Each of these 3 convinces us that what we are thinking, at a specific moment, is the truth. However, they are inaccurate and reinforce our mind to think in a negative manner spurred on by negative emotions.
Don’t feel disappointed right now. Trust me, all is not lost - You can Be Your Own Best Friend.
MAKE A START NOW
To achieve having power over our thought process, we need to start deconstruct our mind. We don’t only need to get control back, we need to be in control all the time.
Let’s take each distortion group one by one.
Firstly, what is filtering? I am sure that within seconds of me giving you a rundown of it, you will recognise it.
Have you ever been complimented on a handful of things you were great at? Perhaps in work, by your partner or family member? They praised you for being amazing and then this happens: ‘Pity you didn’t master that so well. Maybe you should take time out and learn more about it’. Boom. All hell breaks loose in your head. Gone are the heap of things you're good at. They vanished in nano seconds. All that’s left is how bad/horrible/etc. you were at the one thing they told you to learn more about. There you have it: you filtered out all the positives and now only focus on the negative.
To alter this thought process the focus should stay on your strengths - the things you did well. In return, the one thing you didn’t do that well will improve. The more you use words to emphasise your compliments, the more you will build yourself up. As they say, words matter, so use them well.
2. Polarized Thinking
Secondly, what do we do when we polarize something? We divide it into two halves - i.e. black & white or right & wrong.
Basically, we tend to focus only on the utmost opposites. There are no middle ground as far as we are concerned. No grey area at all. We believe we either do something fully or don’t do it at all. Let's say you tried your hand at something new, i.e. a craft - it didn’t work out so you immediately believe you failed and you will never be able to do it.
To be successful we need to focus on progress and gratitude - not perfection. Reminding yourself consistently of your winnings in life and work will have a far better influence over yourself. It will also give you the incentive to continue striving towards your goals.
Lastly, what happens when we overgeneralize situations? We apply one negative result to all other similar instances.
If a certain activity or experiment disappointed us, all others likewise will disappoint too, we believe. Therefore we don’t attempt it ever again.
When this happens we need to zoom in onto the fact that one bad moment doesn’t apply to every other one out there. Note that one bad egg doesn’t spoil the whole dozen. We need to get back on track and try again. There is a big possibility that if you attack something similar by leaving the bad experience behind and progress with a positive attitude, the outcome will be far more rewarding. You will most likely succeed and start to enjoy whatever it is you’re giving a second chance.
Watch out for What You Think. The secret is to investigate your thoughts before you make a decision about it. Best way to accomplish this is to:
analyse into which group that thought falls
figure out why you are thinking in a certain way
then focus on the positive side of the situation
This way of managing our thought process should become part and parcel of our natural thinking behaviour. If you Think Positive, you will Be Positive. And guess what? If you think negative, you will end up being negative. Fact!
Tackle the Fake News in your head and banish it. Now and Forever. Don’t take any BS from yourself from now on.
And Thank You for reading.