Magnifying is a type of thinking that takes away from your confidence and self-esteem. When you magnify, you intensify a problem out of proportion to its actual importance. Minor suggestions become harsh criticism. Slight headaches become a brain tumor. A sore tooth becomes my teeth are falling out. Minor setbacks become cause for despair. A great way to catch yourself magnifying is to pay attention for words like "huge," "impossible," and "overwhelming." The most common phrase is "I can't stand it." Magnifying issues is bad enough, but the reason it takes away from your confidence is because magnifying is typically paired with minimizing. You minimize your ability to deal with the problems you are facing.
The best way to help yourself correct this type of thinking is to remind yourself of the times you have overcome problems and focus on your ability to handle most problems you come across. Attempting to focus on the solution instead of the problem is key! Also, not allowing your emotions to get the best of you. Try asking yourself, "If I had to rate my emotion on a scale of 0 - 100, what would I rate how I feel? Is this an appropriate level of intensity for this type of situation? If I experienced this on a different day in different circumstances, would it be different?"
Do you find yourself thinking thoughts similar to these?
"I could have enjoyed the party, but the food was cold,"
"My car broke down, now the whole day is ruined,"
"I'm struggling to understand a new concept, this always happens, I can't stand it!"
This is another example of thinking in a limited way. Filtering your thoughts could be seen as using tunnel vision. A single detail is picked out, and the entire event or situation is colored by that single detail. Not only does this awfulize your thoughts, but it tends to magnify them, and makes you ignore all the good experiences that may have come along with it. Typical words that are used when filtering or awfulizing are terrible, awful, horrible, horrendous, and "I can't stand it."
Filtering also causes our memory to be selective. If you focus on negative aspects of situations, it stores your memories this way too. You start to flood your mind with evidence to support negative beliefs because of the negatively filtered memories. When your memories are filtered in this way, you skip past positive experiences and dwell only in memories that may leave you angry, anxious, or depressed.
The best way to balance this way of thinking is to shift your focus. First, try to pay attention on your coping strategies of dealing with a problem rather than obsessing about the problem itself. Second, try to focus on the opposite mental theme you find yourself stuck in. For example, if you tend to focus on a theme of not being good enough, instead focus on what you have and do that gives you value and worth.
Good luck and happy thinking!
Mind reading is described as a belief that you know what people are feeling and why they act the way they do without them saying so. You believe you have certain knowledge about how people think and feel about you. Not only do we think we know what people are thinking and feeling but we also think we can predict the future.
These thoughts may sound like,
"He's just acting that way because he's jealous."
"She's afraid to show she cares."
"She thinks I'm really immature."
"He's always smiling but I know he doesn't like me."
Our intuitions, hunches, past experiences, and vague misgivings lead us to have certain assumptions about people and situations. This typically leads people to feel misunderstood, unvalued, and can cause conflict where it doesn't need to be. In order to avoid this, slow down and think about the facts. Like the age old saying says, "Never assume. It makes an ass of me and you."
If you find yourself being controlled by food and are ready to take BACK control,
come learn some useful ways to break the cycle and FIGHT BACK!
WHEN: Starts Monday, October 21st @ 6pm
HOW LONG: 8 week class
HOW MUCH: $25 per group meeting or $180 up front (SAVE $20!)
WHAT IS IT: This group will inform you about the common types of struggles, patterns, thinking and emotions that keep us in the cycle. You will learn useful ways to challenge your way of doing things and be inspired to stay on track and take control of your life in a way that it won’t bite back.
*SPACE LIMITED! Contact me if interested in joining the group.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 616-929-0189
Rachael Kool, professional counselor and normal, everyday adult screw up.