Posts Tagged With: cognitive distortions

Day 2080: Negative filter

After filtering the positive and the negative for two thousand and eighty consecutive days here at The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally, I’m amazed that I haven’t written about the common cognitive distortion of Negative Filter before today.

Negative filtering (also known as “Disqualifying the positive”).
This is when we focus on the negative, and filter out all positive aspects of a situation. For example, you get a good review at work with one critical comment, and the criticism becomes the focus, with the positive feedback fading or forgotten. You dismiss positives by explaining them away — for example, responding to a compliment with the thought, “They were just being nice.”

Why do people disqualify the positive?  Why do we focus on the negative?  When I try to filter through experience and answer those questions, my best guess is that the negative gets our attention because our survival has depended on our being hyper aware of danger and fixating on problems until we solve them.

However, negative filter can lead to depression, hopelessness, and an inability to enjoy the positive.

How can we filter our experiences more effectively, letting in the positive AND the negative? And how can we deal with all the information around us, which can clog up our filters?

As usual, I don’t have all the answers but I do have lots of questions, like what kind of filters do you see in my recent photos?

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Let things come to you, but please don’t filter out the positive.

Last night, when I was working on letting go of my own negative filter, I positively  and completely enjoyed this tap routine on the season finale of So You Think You Can Dance (if you want to filter everything else out, the dancing starts at 2:30):

 

Gratitude helps clean out the filter, so thanks to Evan DeBenedetto, Lex Ishimoto,  choreographer Anthony Morigerato, everyone else who helped me filter through recent experiences to create today’s post and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 2070: What’s your super power

Yesterday, I used my photographic super power to take a picture of this:

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What’s your super power?  Do you have more than one? Are you so super modest that it’s difficult to own your super powers?

Here’s a super incomplete list of my super powers:

  1. Taking pictures (see above).
  2. Blogging daily.
  3. Facilitating group healing.
  4. Coming up with new ideas.
  5. Finding cool socks.

I recently told a  super co-worker that helping a patient find a psychiatrist was NOT one of my super powers. I’m super secure that it’s super helpful to be aware and accepting of our super powers AND our limitations.

Speaking of limitations, I recently had the super idea that I stop using the super-judgmental  label “stupid” about myself or anybody else and use the superior word “limited” instead.

Do you see any super powers in my other super snapshots from yesterday?

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We think you deserve a treat, no matter what your super powers or limitations. I shall now attempt to find a super treat on YouTube for my super readers.

There’s a super number of videos on YouTube asking and perhaps answering the question, “What’s your super power?”  However, I’d rather share some super music like Super Stevie Wonder’s “Superstitious” and “Superwoman.”

I hope you use your super power of making comments, below.

It’s time to use my super power of expressing thanks to all those who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — YOU.  And I shall use my super powers to get back here as quickly as possible.

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Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2047: A thought is just a thought

Yesterday, in a therapy group where many thoughts were expressed …

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… I said, “A thought is just a thought.”  One of the group members thought that thought was important, so I wrote it up on the board:

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The group members thought that was helpful, because the thoughts people expressed in the group included fortune telling, catastrophizing, mind reading, personalization, all-or-nothing thinking, over-generalizing, jumping to conclusions, labelling, shoulds, and other cognitive distortions.  For example, my expressed thoughts included, “The plane might crash on Saturday!”

As I’m writing this blog post, my thoughts include this one: “My shoulder, after my fall in January,  will never be right.”

We all have lots of thoughts. Thoughts are NOT the same as actions or accurate forecasts of the future. I’ve thought, many times, to challenge a thought with this question, “Is that a helpful thought?”

A thought is just a thought and a photo is just a photo.

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A thought is just a thought, a barrier is just a barrier, a verb is just a verb,  a memory is just a memory,  and a theme song is just a theme song.

Feel free to express your just thoughts in a comment, below.

Gratitude is just gratitude, so thanks to all whose thoughts helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to thoughtful YOU.

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Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2028: Comparisons

Not to make comparisons, but I’ve written at least two previous posts about the cognitive distortion of comparisons (here and here).

Comparisons.
We compare ourselves to others, with ourselves coming out short. For example, “I’m not as smart (or good, competent, good-looking, lovable, etc.) as that other person.” Or, we compare ourselves to how we think we should be, or how we’ve been before. We might think that comparisons help motivate us, but they usually make us feel worse.

Yesterday, in a therapy group, we focused on comparisons.

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I believe the human mind is built to make comparisons, in order to make meaning of what’s around us.  However, when we compare ourselves to others, the resulting blows to our self-confidence and self-esteem can be beyond compare.

I’ve been making a different type of comparison lately.  I compare the blog posts I’ve written after and before the November 2016 USA presidential election and I see differences. Less joy.  Less hope.  Less confidence in the future.  Less faith in humans to be respectful and kind.

Some might compare me to a snowflake.  Personally, I don’t mind being compared to a snowflake — each one is beautiful, intricate, and unique.

Let’s see how the rest of my photos compare to the one I’ve included above.

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When I search YouTube for “comparisons,” most of the results have to do with money and wealth — not particularly useful comparisons.

If we don’t realize all animals are beyond compare, we will continue to lose more and more to extinction.  Here’s a video showing comparisons of animal size:

The most recent comment on that video includes this: “Fake news.” I now compare my life to how it was before I heard that phrase so frequently.

Here‘s one result for “comparisons music.”

I look forward to comparisons in comments, below.

Now it’s time to compare  two ways of my expressing gratitude to all who helped me create another “comparisons” post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 1988: It’s all in the details

Here’s a detail about how I got today’s title:

Do you agree that it’s all in the details?

I love these details about how to live life:

  1. Show up.
  2. Be gentle (with others and with yourself).
  3. Tell the truth.

I’m telling the truth about the details of the first verse of my second original song, “Catastrophizing.”

Now that I’ve started this song

So many things could go wrong.

What if I make a mistake?

This string or that string could break!

I think I sound out of tune.

You look like you’re leaving soon!

©️Ann Koplow 2018

Here are the details of my other photos from yesterday.

Nothing says fun like this video where it’s all in the details.

It’s all in all the details for comedian Todd Barry, whom my son saw Friday night.

I noticed that some of the details in Todd Barry’s routine are about Chicago. It’s all in the details when you travel and I’m traveling to Chicago with my son in two weekends.

I’m looking forward to all the details in your comments below.

It’s all in the details when you express gratitude, so thanks to everyone who helped me create today’s detailed post and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 1925: No reason at all

Sometimes, I have judgmental and negative thoughts for no reason at all. These include

  • assumptions that other people are judging me and
  • negative expectations about the future.

I have many reasons to believe that I am not alone in having thoughts like that for no reason at all.

Yesterday, I had no reason at all for taking these photos.

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I could think of no reason at all why those bags were hanging that way near the ocean yesterday.

Here’s an answer we can all use when there’s no reason at all:

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Here’s Steve Martin doing his stand-up routine in front of dogs on The Tonight Show for no reason at all.

 

Even if you have no reason to leave a comment, please do so, just because.

As always, I have lots of reasons to thank those who help me create this blog and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 1912: Jumping to conclusions

Are you ready for some jumping to conclusions?

If you jump to this page about jumping to conclusions, you’ll see that jumping to conclusions includes two very common cognitive distortions:  mind reading and fortune telling.

Perhaps some of you are jumping to the conclusion that I’m writing about jumping to conclusions today because of something that jumped out at me yesterday.

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I wonder if there are any conclusions or jumping in my other photos from yesterday.

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With all those bunnies jumping out at us, we might jump to the conclusion that Easter is approaching.

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I jumped to the conclusion that cats would be in that box and in that card holder, but they weren’t. However, cats were nearby.

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This  is always on my mind about jumping to conclusions:  sometimes we’re right and sometimes we’re not.  Let’s not jump to the conclusion that our conclusions are always right and other people’s conclusions are always wrong.

If jumping to conclusions really burned calories, I wouldn’t be gaining weight from eating delicious food.

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If you jumped to the conclusion that Michael made salmon last night, your conclusion would be correct.

Has anybody jumped to the conclusion about what music we’ll be jumping to now?

In conclusion, thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — for jumping to my blog today.

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Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 1876: How man learned

Yesterday, I saw a greeting card with a caption about how man learned.

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I thought it showed how man learned to golf, but it showed how man learned to do something else.

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How Ann learned to blog includes noticing messages from the universe and riffing on them. I’m now imagining future documentation of how man learned to

  • accept others,
  • prevent bloodshed,
  • let go of fear,
  • recognize and reframe cognitive distortions,
  • love,
  • heal,
  • speak up,
  • tell the truth, and
  • do the right thing.

I learned a long time ago how to take photos and trust they would work in the next day’s post.

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How my man Michael learned to cook is a long story, but I’m glad he did.

How man learns to play the piano, by Jon Batiste:

How Ann learned to thank everybody who helped create today’s post and — of course! — YOU:

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 1860: Love Never Dies

“Love Never Dies” is

  • the title of today’s blog post,
  • the name of the musical I’m seeing today with my ex-sister-in-law, Deborah (whom I love), and
  • true, because even when we die, love lives on.

I have undying love for the people who made my 65th birthday so wonderful, including

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Megan.  I love Megan. Yesterday, Megan and I expressed an undying wish that, before we die, we let go of worry, anxiety, overthinking, harsh self-judgments, and fears about the future. I know that love never dies, but I hope that painful and unhelpful thoughts will die (or at least become less strong).

Photos on the internet never die, so here are more photos from yesterday:

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My love never dies for chocolate, my boyfriend Michael (who bought me that yummy dessert), my son Aaron, my family, my friends, my work, and my blogging community.

Here’s “Love Never Dies” from Love Never Dies:

If you make a comment on the internet, it never dies.

My gratitude never dies for all who help me create these posts and — of course! — for YOU.

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Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 1757: Don’t take it personally

Don’t take it personally, but I’m reusing a photo from two days ago to start off this blog post.

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Don’t take it personally, but I’ve personally blogged about personalization — the cognitive distortion of taking things too personally — several times before (including here, here, and here).

Yesterday, my niece Laura

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(on the left, next to her daughter Victoria) told me that people might take it personally when I recently blogged about a get-together at my place next weekend, because I hadn’t invited them.  I told Laura, “Don’t take it personally.  That’s a gathering for a professional organization of group therapists.”

I hope Laura and Victoria don’t take it personally that I didn’t take a better picture of them yesterday.

Don’t take it personally that I personally took all these photos yesterday and you’re not in any of them.

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Actually, don’t take it personally that I said you weren’t in any of those photos and you are, because you’re my ex-sister-in-law Deborah (who appears in several portraits above and who designed and built another beautiful home for sale), Cher,  Audrey who works at Pet Life, or Harley the cat.

Don’t take it personally that I have to rush and finish this post before I go to work.

Don’t take it personally that I’m using Michael Brecker’s tune “Nothing Personal” again in this blog.

Please take it personally that I’m thanking everybody who helps me create these blog posts and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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