Distorted Thinking…

I am a thinker. I think and then think about what I’m thinking and how I’m thinking.  I remember when I first heard the term Metacognition.  It’s basically “cognition about cognition” and awareness of your own thought process.  This has always been important to me working with kids and trying to understand their thought process and how they learn.  Once I can figure that out, I can make it easier for them to retain information and teach them to think about “how they think”.  One size doesn’t fit all.   This is especially obvious when working with kids from all walks of life.

If you are feeding your brain with positivity in many aspects of your life, you are probably an extremely content and positive person.  For years, I perceived myself as being one of these people.  In reality, we all have some sort of distorted thinking that paralyzes our thoughts and eventually affects our well-being.

We only have so much energy and how do we spend it?  People underestimate the influence that distorted thinking has on one’s energy.  Maybe you’re not running a physical marathon but are you running one in your mind?

Ways that your distorted thinking can really fuck up your life…

This information was provided by my neuro-psychologist and I am currently working on these skills and trying to own them.

  1. Black and White thinking:   Seeing things in all or nothing terms.  Things are not totally good or totally bad.  There is gray in every situation but we have to put things into perspective and find it.
  2. Overgeneralizing:  Seeing a negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.
  3. Negative filtering:   Seeing only the negative aspects of a situation.
  4. Mind reading:  Assuming that others are (or will be) thinking of you negatively.
  5. Fortune telling:   Prediciting that events will turn out badly and you won’t be able to do anything about it.
  6. Magnifying/Minimizing:   Over-evalating negative information and undervaluing positive information.
  7. Emotional reasoning:  Assuming that if you feel that something is true, it must be true.
  8. Shoulding:  Telling yourself that things should or must be a certain way.
  9. Catastrophizing:   Repeatedly imagining bad outcomes; thinking three likely or that you couldn’t stand if they happen.
  10. Personalizing:   Placing 100% blame on one person (yourself or someone else) for a negative event that had many causes.

I went almost a week without any episodes, but today I had one.  I tried to fight it but inevitably, it happened and I have to accept it.  I’m doing better and PNES is not consuming my life but I still struggle to find balance in my life.  I know that some people struggling with PNES don’t have the same resources as I.  Hopefully, you can utilize some of these strategies to help.

There are some questions we can ask ourselves to help an alternative response to distorted thinking…

  1.  What is the EVIDENCE that the automatic thought is true or not true?
  2.  Is there and alternative explanation?
  3. What’s the worst thing that could happen?  Could I live through it?  What’s the best thing that could happen?  What’s the most realistic outcome?
  4. What’s the effect of my believing the automatic thought?  What could be the effect of my thinking?
  5. What should I do about it?
  6. If_______________friend’s name) was in the situation and had this thought, what would I tell him/her?  It’s much easier and less emotional to look at a situation objectively.

Things are getting better and I’m learning that I only have so much energy in a day.  I tend to overdo most things to the extreme and then I pay for them in the long run.  This week, I will try and prioritize what is really important.  Are we are really busy or are we just used to over scheduling our lives?  Most things that I HAVE to do are not that important after all.  Truthfully, nothing is more important than taking care of myself at this point in my life.

Here’s to a successful week and prioritizing what’s really important.



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