Feeling more anxious than normal?
It’s all normal and we all feel it from time to time. Especially this year!
But, there is something we can do about it. Here is an activity for the next time your thoughts start to go down the road to useless worry.
Step 1: Isolate the thought and acknowledge your feelings.
Step 2: Write down the thought.
Step 3: Identify the distress level.
Step 4: Identify the cognitive disorder. (See below)
Step 5: Challenge and reframe your thought.
Step 6: Reevaluate your distress level.
Get in the practice of doing this activity when things start to feel overwhelming. I hope this helps lighten the load and provide new perspective.
We are here for you!
Types of cognitive distortions or thinking distortions to be aware of:
- Overgeneralizing – You see a constant, negative pattern based on one event. “I messed up on the job interview; I’ll never get a job.”
- Blaming/Denying – You blame others for your problems or mistakes OR you blame yourself when it wasn’t entirely your fault. “I drink because of my ex-husband.”
- “Shoulds”– You have a rigid code of conduct dictating how you and others should behave. You criticize yourself harshly when you fail to follow these rules. “I never should have dated him/her.”
- All or nothing thinking – You see things as absolutes; no grey areas. “I’m always late.”
- Negativity bias – You notice all of the negatives, but fail to notice the positives. “Everything in my life sucks. I’m out of work. My car payment is late. My pants are too tight. My cat peed on the carpet.”
- Catastrophizing – You expect the worst. “I was late on the rent. I’m going to be evicted.”
- Labeling – You label yourself negatively. “I made a mistake therefore I’m a failure.”
- Magical thinking – You think everything will be better when ____ (you’re thinner, smarter, richer, get a new job, etc.). “I’ll meet a new guy as soon as I lose 20 lbs.”
- Over-personalizing – You make things personal, when they aren’t. You believe other people’s opinions are facts. You think what other people do/say is in reaction to you. “My wife complains about the high car payment. I take this as a criticism that I paid too much.”
- Mind reading – You make assumptions about what others are thinking. “I didn’t get the job because I’m too old.”
- Double standard – You hold yourself to a higher standard than everyone else. “I’m happy when my boyfriend gets a B, but I expect myself to get straight A’s.”
- Fallacy of fairness – You think things should work out according to what you think is fair. “If my boss valued me, he’d give me a raise.”
- Emotional reasoning – You think your feelings are reality. “I feel guilty for saying “no”, so I must have been wrong to set that boundary
About the author:
Krista Watkins, her husband and two kids live in Anderson. She is a Certified Master Health Coach with a focus on pregnancy. Her holistic approach gives her clients the most natural way to feel whole again. She truly has a passion for what she does and you can tell when working with her. She makes wellness fun and approachable. Her education and training completes her coaching arsenal- allowing her to provide you with the tools and methods you need to achieve your nutrition, mental wellness, lifestyle and fitness goals. With the help of good nutrition, balanced physical activity and a clear mind, your body is able to achieve an optimal state.