Have you ever used phrases like, “I’m always…” or “Everybody does…” or “Because I failed at this, I will fail at that too”? These phrases are common distorted thought patterns that we use to gain some pay off. These over-generalizations and all-or-nothing thinking fogs our true perceptions of reality. If we continue using these phrases, we eventually start believing them to be true. This is a slippery slope, because once in this negative and distorted thought pattern, it takes effort and some kind of tipping point to shift us out of this self-regulating negative emotional state. A tipping point is an action that has enough force to shift a person out of the negative emotional state into the positive emotional state. One action that works well in challenging distortions and shifting us into the positive emotional state is the use of facts. When we use a phrase like, “I’m always…”, challenge that thought with the facts of the situation. Maybe you are not always “this way”. Maybe you are “this way” in certain circumstances. By challenging distortions with facts we can neutralize their power over us and we can reclaim that power. The next time you find yourself using distortions, try shifting yourself into a positive emotional state by challenging the distortions with facts. The more you practice this technique will keep yourself in a positive emotional state and the benefits of living in this state are invaluable to your health and living a thriving life.
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