Challenging your thinking!
I was doing some reading around thinking and behaviours and came across this image of our common distortions. These are common ways in which our thinking becomes distorted. Have a look through the list and see how many you can or have recognised within yourself. I bet there will be quite a few! The issue arises when this becomes a common way of thinking or it begins to affect your relationships and behaviours.
The question is how do we change the way that we think. Well, I believe this starts with talking and exploring the reason why you might think in this way. Where such thinking patterns have come from and why we continue to use them. The important part of learning about ourselves and exploring our 'patterns' is that by doing this we can start to improve the relationship that we have with our self. We need to be able to understand ourselves and to begin to build confidence and trust within ourselves in order to not only want to change negative thinking patterns, but also to trust that we can change.
Thought logging and journaling can be a really helpful process in looking at our thinking patterns and working out which ones are negative, when we employ them and how they make us feel. This is an important step in starting the process of exploration and understanding.
Then begins the process of challenging some of the thinking. Think about the negative thought process that you use and think about the way in which it impacts you. Then think about an alternative way that you could think about this situation which would not impact you in such a negative way. Think about how this new thought process impacts you and makes you feel. Can you begin to think more about how you think and react to things and try to employ the more positive thought process? When we have used distorted thinking for so long it can be difficult to change these patterns, but by logging, journaling, noticing and exploring you can begin to become more aware of yourself and how you might react and start the process of thinking about it and doing something to change.
Obviously, coming from a psychodynamic background I am also interested in the why's! I think the key to change is understanding. Exploring and understanding why you think in such ways and learning to trust and build confidence within yourself will be key to change. Talking is so important, as is the ability to understand your inner self and to be important enough for you to want to make changes. Never underestimate yourself and the strength within you. Above all else, know that you are important enough to ask for help and to make the changes. You matter!