A Handy Headspace
Updated: Nov 30, 2018
If someone hands you a hammer, they might firstly have to show you how to use it. Once you learn, it becomes easy to identity when it's needed, pulling it out of your toolbox at your convenience.
But what about the mind and body?
For the body, we might hire a trainer to then head to the gym to learn about certain exercises and muscle groups. Overtime, what's ideal is becoming comfortable enough to head to the gym or engage in workouts by oneself.
In counseling, especially in the realm of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the goal is to become educated on how to properly use the mind in a way that it's a handy tool, and not a headache.
Below is a list of what is known as "cognitive errors" by CBT practitioners in regards to our thoughts and the use of our minds. You can see it almost as a users manual. Don't worry, we all make these so called "mistakes." We are all learning, aren't we!? And the more we become aware of what not to do, the more we find ourselves exploring that place of a healthy headspace!
1. All-or-Nothing Thinking: judgements about oneself, personal experiences are either all good or all bad, a total success or total failure, completely perfect or completely flawed.
2. Selective Abstraction: a conclusion is drawn after looking at only a small portion of the available information. Salient data are screened out or ignored in order to confirm the person's biased view of the situation. This is sometimes called ignoring the evidence or mental filter.
3. Arbitrary Inference: a conclusion is reached in the face of contradictory evidence or in the absence of evidence.
4. Overgeneralization: a conclusion is made about one or more isolated incidents and then is extended illogically to cover broad areas of functioning.
5. Magnification & Minimization: the significance of an attribute, event, or sensation is exaggerated or minimized.
6. Personalization: external events are related to oneself when there is little or no basis for doing so. Excessive responsibility or blame is taken for negative events.
7. Catastrophizing: believing something to be worse than it is.
Other examples can be labelling or mislabelling oneself or others, along with "mind reading" - thinking we know what others are thinking.
Hoping this list can be stored in your wellness toolbox, pulling it out in times of need!
(Source: Learning Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, An Illustrated Guide, by Jesse H. Wright, Gregory K. Brown, Michael E. Thase, & Monica Ramirez Basco)