This is a chicken/egg situation!
It is a bit of a divided opinion, one that I do not have a definite answer to, but I believe that once the thought/emotion pattern starts then the two feed off each other and can spiral out of control.
This is why it is so important to recognise our thoughts and emotions and acknowledge them. Once we start to do this we can take control instead of allowing them to control us.
Our minds have a very clever way of deceiving us. They make up stories and have us believing that this is the absolute truth, when in reality it just isn’t.
This is called Cognitive Distortion. There are 10 main cognitive distortions and in this blog I will talk about two of them and how I have learnt to take control of my own thoughts and emotions.
You may recognise these in yourself (I certainly did), but by noticing and acknowledging we can start to change.
1. Overgeneralization - So what is this exactly?
Well it’s a thought pattern that allows one event or series of events to determine a rule which a person applies to everything.
A couple of examples of this might be:
We then start to feed these thoughts by telling ourselves and everyone around us that we are no good at this or no good at that and it becomes our truth.
If instead we look at the event as a one off and tell ourselves that next time will be different (which it will), we can find the positives in the situation, move on quicker and not feel as affected.
By recognising this thought pattern we can stay in control of the situation and our emotions.
2. Personalisation - So what is this exactly?
This is when a person believes that their or someone else's actions could entirely influence a situation that is, in reality, out of any one person's control.
An example of this might be:
Instead of being ruled by our thoughts and emotions, or suppressing them out of fear, mindfulness offers a way of welcoming them, without judgement.
So this is just two out of ten main cognitive distortions! It can be hard to know where to start, right? How do we stop our minds from doing what they have always done?
Well first of all we have to recognise what is happening. This is a massive step towards improving your mental wellbeing.
Practising mindfulness is the best way to start to recognise these distortions.
You can practise mindfulness in several ways.
These simple acts allow us to start to acknowledge our thoughts and feelings. Once we can do this we can start to change.
Here are a few tips to help you start to incorporate mindful activities into your daily routine.
I hope this blog helps you start to implement some positive changes to you daily routine.
If you are struggling with sleep you can get a copy of my free guide to a deep and restful nights sleep - you can find it here
I would also recommend joining my free Facebook group which is perfect for giving you daily reminders and positivity boosts during your day.
Lots of love