Ten Things To Stop Doing..

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by COOKIEMONSTER, Jul 20, 2003.



    Ten Things To Stop Doing

    Stress researchers say that a strong sense of control goes a long way toward buffering the negative effects of stress, but certain thought patterns can get in the way. How well can you identify the cognitive distortions that your patients, clients and even you sometimes make?

    All-or-nothing thinking: viewing things in overly absolute terms. Example: The all-or-nothing dieter believes they have to follow a strict diet in order to succeed, and after eating some chips, thinks, "I've blown it again. There’s just no use trying." The distortion--"there's no use"--causes stress and a sense of despair...feelings which are most likely addressed with more eating.

    Overgeneralization: viewing one negative event as an endless pattern of defeat. One hallmark of overgeneralization are the words "always" and "never," i.e. "I always screw things up," or "I'll never catch up."

    Mental filter: filtering out the positive from daily events. For example, during an employee review your boss makes several positive comments about your work and a few critical ones. You spend the rest of the day obsessing about the critical comments.

    Discounting the positive: believing that your accomplishments are undeserved or are due to luck.

    Jumping to conclusions: also called "mind reading" or "fortune telling." For example, "She's cutting the lunch date short because she doesn't enjoy my company."

    Mountains and molehills: blowing negative events out of proportion and minimizing the importance of positive ones.

    Emotional reasoning: interpreting a subjective emotional response as objective reality. For example, "I'm scared, so this must be really dangerous."

    Should Statements: criticizing yourself or others based on how you think they "should" act or feel. "I should be further along in my career by now." It's been said that the only kind of "shoulds" that deserve attention are moral shoulds ("I should not steal"), legal shoulds (i.e. speed limits) and physical law shoulds ("If I drop this pen, it should fall to the ground").

    Labeling: identifying yourself and others by shortcomings. "I am such an idiot."

    Personalization: taking on too much or too little responsibility for something.
    In some sense, many of these are variations on the "all or nothing" theme, which is why it's one goal of cognitive therapy to help people better tolerate ambiguity--to hold both the positive and negative aspects of a situation in their consciousness at the same time. Another goal is to help people move from a reactive state to a more centered one, where the focus is on...you guessed it: aspects of the situation that are within their sphere of personal control.

    Source: The Feeling Good Handbook Dr. David Burns

  2. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    This is the awareness part of CBT. There used to be a good article in our library about this. If being aware of doing one or more of these things doesn't help, we need to seek a good therapist who works with CBT.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    Love, Mikie
  3. NanceZ

    NanceZ New Member


  4. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Being chronically ill causes all kinds of emotional, psychological problems for us. It is impossible to separate our minds, bodies, and spirits. We cannot get well until all areas are healed.

    Love, Mikie
  5. averilpam

    averilpam New Member

    I keep hearing about this, and from what I've seen it can be very useful, if offered it I will certainly give it a try. Anything that may help me to cope better is welcome.

    However, it isn't the be all and end all in terms of treatment, though I think many doctors would like to convince us it is.