by Joyce Dennison, Ph. D.

You may remember in last month’s  Yellow Sheet, the Weaver Mountains Health Initiative article talked about ways our distorted thinking defeats us.   Our physical health and attitudes are definitely affected by our thinking patterns.  Here are the next 5 distortions that might derail your train of thoughts and be self-defeating.

    Sometimes, negative thinking can either magnify something that blows it way out of proportion to make it huge and awful,, or minimize  and shrink the importance of something good.
    Thinking that comes from negative feelings, might make you feel even worse- such as ” I feel stupid so I guess I am stupid. I’m such an idiot.”
    You might criticize yourself or other people with shoulds and musts, —with lots of guilt, judgment and oughts.  When you “should on yourself”, it might prevent you from moving forward or being positive about yourself.
    Instead of saying “I made a mistake”, and thinking about better ways to accomplish something, you label yourself as a jerk or incompetent- a loser.  And that label limits you.
    In trying to figure out blame, maybe you blame yourself, even though you were not responsible for the problem.  Or perhaps you blame others , instead of using cooperation to solve the problem together.  Trying to label and attach blame keeps you from moving forward.

IF these negative thinking patterns get in your way of progressing and doing the right thing, making a log of one thought that is negative or limits you.  Writing it down, or putting a check mark on the calendar when you do that might help you turn it around.  Thinking positively takes practice with lots of letting go, breathing, counting to 10 when angry , but with practice, a new train track with positive thinking is possible.  A therapist or counselor can be helpful with the progress on how your thinking train is going.

Here’s to a positive 2023 and mental health along with physical health to all of us!

Credit: Dr. David D. Burns, Feeling Good