Why did I give you all a list of cognitive distortions yesterday? I wanted to get you started thinking about how you talk with yourself. Our thoughts directly relate not only to our actions, but also to how we feel and experience life. Disciplining our thoughts is a great technique for creating more relaxation and less anxiety in our lives. This can be a very unpopular method because we tend to be very attached to the stories we tell ourselves. Unfortunately some of the stories we repeat to ourselves can be the very thoughts that are undercutting our self-esteem and creating a string of negative anxiety causing thoughts.  Changing some of our automatic thought processes is a difficult but worthwhile undertaking.

The first step is always the hardest. We must identify our automatic thoughts before we can begin to work with them. Try noticing what internal comments you repeat about yourself. When you do or do not accomplish a task what does your inner voice say? Do you call yourself stupid or lazy? Or maybe you blame others from keeping you from getting something done? Or if you succeed it is due to luck? Do you have to complete something 100% perfect to feel good about it?

The possible questions we can ask ourselves are endless, but the point is not to become overwhelmed and create more anxiety. The point is to become more intimately familiar with your own unique self talk. This brings us back to the importance of the cognitive distortions from yesterday’s post. Using that list can help us to understand some of our repeated stories and self talk. When we regularly have cognitive distortions it becomes difficult to have a clear picture of who we are and how we relate to ourselves and the world around us.

Next post we will tackle some ideas around how to address these cognitive distortions and the problems they create for us in our journey toward happiness.

Published in: on September 23, 2010 at 3:55 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi Angela,
    Loving your blog…just started reading it after talking with you yesterday and it’s great! I’ve already forwarded it to some friends :). So i was just wondering if you could post some affirmations to contradict the negative self-talk…

    • Anne,
      Great recommendation. I will definately include affirmations soon. Do you have any that you personally find helpful?

  2. I have found “The Work” by Byron Katie to be quite helpful…too often, we believe our own stories…Thank you Angela, I so appreciate you.

    • Just to clarify, The Work isn’t about affirmations, but, it has helped me to examine the truth.

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