Real Life Real Faith Men of Faith March Issue - Page 17

Let ’ s look at some of the above cognitive distortions and see how you can overcome them . Catastrophizing : Again the idea is to think positive . If there is a delay in traffic , think rationally . Instead of thinking “ I ’ m never going to get there ”, think “ I may be late , but I will get there ”. In the meantime you could listen to some music that typically calms you . Make the best out of the situation . Overgeneralization : Everyone has experienced negative events in their lives . That is something we cannot avoid . But the challenge that we have is being able to take those negative events and believe that we can create different outcomes in the future . Change “ I wasn ’ t able to pass the test , I ’ ll never pass any ” into “ I didn ’ t pass that one , but I will work hard and pass the next ”. Always remember that situations in life won ’ t hold true forever . Personalization : When we personalize things we are actually taking full responsibility of the situation . One must evaluate situations in order to determine whether or notthey have any responsibility for the outcome at all . Don ’ t place unnecessary blame on yourself for the actions and responsibilities of others or situations you have no control over . Jumping to Conclusions : If you find yourselfthinking like this , stop and think about it . You should ask yourself “ do I really know this to be true ?” We are not mind readers or fortune tellers , so if you don ’ t know the real answer do not set yourself up for failure by trying to predict something you have no real clue of . But if you just can ’ t help yourself , instead of saying “ I ’ m going to have a bad day ”, say something down the lines of “ today may have some obstacles , but I will overcome them and I will have a good day ”.
Disqualifying the Positive : To overcome that you strive to embrace the positive ; you want to eliminate the negative . Instead of saying “ I got lucky ”, turn that into “ I was prepared ” or “ I worked really hard ”. The idea is to focus on the positives of the situation . All-or-Nothing Thinking : You must work to not put yourself in the “ never-always-every ” box . These words come with a lot of pressure and can cause mental anguish . They are not only negative when used in this type of thinking , but can damage your self-esteem . One must challenge themselves to think of times when these words were not true in their lives when they at first thought that they would be . Instead of “ I always make bad decisions ”, think of positive decisions that you have made . Remember , there are few situations that are absolute .
How do you get past cognitive distortions ? 1 . You want to identify the Cognitive Distortion : Which one of the above distortions are you currently trapped in 2 . You want to examine the evidence : what experiences are leading you to having this distorted thinking . You want to not only look at bad situations but you want to more importantly look at positive situations / experiences 3 . Use the double standard method : This simply means that instead of having negative self-talk you use more of a compassionate and caring way to talk to yourself . POSITIVE SELF-TALK ! 4 . Think in shades of gray . Instead of thinking about our problem or predicament in an either-or polarity , evaluate things on a scale of 0-100 . When a plan or goal is not fully realized , think about and evaluate the experience as a partial success , again , on a scale of 0-100 .