There is a lot of conclusive evidence that how we view what is happening in life can greatly influence whether we find that life events are stressful. Cognitive distortions or wrong thinking patterns can affect our thoughts, behaviors, and stress experience.
Our self-talk, that is, the internal dialogue in our minds, includes explaining, explaining and judging the situation we encounter. This actually makes things look better or worse, threatening or non-threatening, or stressful. Some people tend to look at things from a more positive perspective, while others tend to look at things more negatively, putting themselves at a disadvantage in life. But as our self-talk begins to develop in childhood, how do we change these habitual thinking patterns?
Cognitive reconstruction is a process of identifying, challenging, and changing cognitive distortions and negative thinking patterns. It can be done with the help of a therapist trained in cognitive therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy.
In many cases, with correct information and a commitment to change, positive results can also be achieved through cognitive reconstruction at home.
Here are some tips for changing negative self-talk.
Consciousness is the first step
It is difficult to change what we don’t know. Because there are many cognitive distortions, including “all or nothing” thinking, sloppy conclusions, and emotional (and logical) reasoning, it is difficult to recognize that any distortion is occurring, and the effects of such distortions will be seamless .
In order to better recognize the distortions that appear, please familiarize yourself with the list and stay vigilant. Once you know what to look for, you may recognize them in yourself and others, and then begin to challenge and change them. Over time and practice, this type of cognitive reconstruction will become more automated.
Know your power
When we feel that we have no choice in a certain situation, it will produce tremendous stress and even lead to burnout. The statement “I can’t exercise, because I have to volunteer in the children’s school again”, which ignores the reality that both activities are choices. Just because you didn’t choose a choice doesn’t mean it’s not a choice, first of all.
Changing “must” and “cannot” to “choose” and “choose not” (or some smoother-sounding approximation) can actually remind you that you can choose under certain circumstances and help you reduce stress. “I I want to exercise, but I chose to volunteer at the children’s school, “It feels less restrictive, it sounds more fun, doesn’t it? Soon, you will become more automated in correcting cognitive distortions and master how to develop a more positive way of thinking, thereby reducing the stress in the process.
It’s easier to deal with challenges when you feel you are doing it because you want to Not because of you mustIn this case, the word “should” is a sign of stress. It makes most of us feel that there is a right way and a wrong way to do things, and we must do things in a certain way.
When we feel the pressure of the word “should”, we may want to remind ourselves that when we feel we “should” do something, we are not always right. Begin to question your “should” and make sure that whatever you do, you are doing it because you want and feel that this is the best way for you. The same is true for others.
Actively pay attention to the positive
Following these lines of thinking, many people find that writing a gratitude diary—recording what they are grateful for every day—is very helpful. It not only provides a list of blessings that can be viewed, but also trains the mind to pay attention to these blessings throughout the day and reduces their overall stress experience.
Stay here and now
Try to stay in the moment, focus on specific problems, and find effective solutions. This can effectively help you cope with various stressors without feeling overwhelmed.
Likewise, if you are dealing with more severe stress or clinical illness, you will see the best results from a well-trained therapist. However, these cognitive reconstruction techniques can help change negative thinking patterns to relieve daily stress; through practice, you may see significant positive changes in your outlook and reduce your stress experience.