Friday, March 7, 2008

Retraining Our Thinking

Friday, March 7, 2008

How do we deal with neglect? How do we keep ourselves from spending too much time wallowing in melodrama? How do we prevent ourselves from being trapped in that deep emotional hole called loneliness or from plummeting into that dark void called depression?

Through retraining our thoughts.

Retraining our thinking is the crux of the cognitive behavioral approach. What is important, according to this approach, is for us not to return to the origins of our problems, but instead to correct our current "cognitive distortions." These cognitive distortions are errors in perception that lead us to the conclusion that life is hopeless or that everyday activity is unmanageable.

It is not the situation that makes us miserable but how we perceive it and what we tell ourselves about it. It is what goes on in our minds - our assumptions that that make us feel bad about ourselves - that we need to correct. Advocates of the cognitive behavioral approach suggest that we need to find an explanation for how we feel that “allows us to feel we are able, based on the understanding of the cause, to predict and control our emotions.” Though the explanation found may not be correct, by merely attributing our emotional turmoil to some logical cause and effect will make us feel that whatever we are going through is manageable.

We may be unhappy, but at least we know why we are unhappy. Sanity calms.


Anonymous said...

Easier said than done. :) You may need a shrink. Hopefully you are not a scientologist. :)

Angeli said...

it's easy. works all the time for me. :)

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