Posts Tagged With: cognitive distortions

Day 1606: Self conscious

I am very conscious that many selves have shared being self conscious this week, in individual and group therapy.

Yourself, are you conscious of the meaning of “self conscious?”

self-con·scious
adjective
feeling undue awareness of oneself, one’s appearance, or one’s actions.
“I feel a bit self-conscious parking my scruffy old car”
synonyms: embarrassed, uncomfortable, uneasy, nervous

Why do so many selves feel embarrassed, uncomfortable, uneasy, and nervous about awareness of oneself?  This week, self conscious people described pain, mind reading, personalization, paranoia, projection, isolation, and a drastic restriction of activities.  This self is conscious of a wish that consciousness of self could lead to  self-confidence and self-worth, not self-judgment.

Should I feel self conscious about today’s photos?

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I don’t think cats are particularly self-conscious.

Here’s Ellen being self conscious:

I am conscious that I, myself,  love comments from my readers.

Conscious gratitude to all who helped me create this self-conscious post and to you — of course! — for being yourself, here and now.


Minutes after I published this post, I became conscious of today’s New York Times piece on being self conscious.

Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Day 1605: Guess what? I’m nuts! Really nuts!

Guess what? I’m nuts about getting my morning-blogging inspiration from a nutty snapshot.

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Guess what?  I’m nuts, really nuts because I

Guess what?  I’m nuts, really nuts about taking photos and putting them in my blog.

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Is it nuts for me to repeat the wisdom in that last photo?

It’s the strangest thing,

how happiness comes out of nowhere

and inflates your soul.

Guess what?  I’m nuts, really nuts about nutty music.

I’m nuts, really nuts about

  • getting comments from my readers and
  • expressing thanks to all with words and nutty pictures.

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Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 1599: Bad habits and good habits

Because I’m in the habit of asking people in therapy groups to express their thoughts and feelings on paper, yesterday I asked a group to write down their bad habits and good habits. I also have the habit of reminding people that we tend to focus on the negative, so I encouraged people to make their list of good habits as long as possible. We discussed how much easier it was to identify bad habits, perhaps because we take our good habits for granted.

I have a habit of including photos to illustrate my blogging points:

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Because I have a bad habit of hastily taking pictures when I’m in a hurry, I cut off one of my good habits in the second photo above.  I have the bad habit of sometimes forgetting the good, so I can’t remember what that good habit was. I think the first word is “ask.”  I do have the habit of asking lots of questions, like this one: can anybody guess what I wrote there?

I’m trying to break my bad habit of being in a hurry, but I had a good reason for rushing yesterday: I had to get things done before signing a Purchase & Sale agreement. Soon, I’ll be developing the habit of living near the water!

I also have the habit of taking pictures that magically fit whatever topic I choose for my daily blog post.  Do you see any evidence of bad or good habits here?

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That’s Jessica, who was at Whole Foods Market last night giving free samples of Nada Moo! — a coconut milk-based alternative to ice cream.  Michael, who is trying to break the bad habit of eating too much cholesterol, bought two pints.  I’m also in the habit of including people I like in my blog and Jessica was a GREAT salesperson.

I also have the habit of sharing music with my readers.

I hope you have the habit of leaving comments for bloggers.

One of the good habits I listed above was “expressing appreciation.”  Many thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — for reading it.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 1591: Helpful

If you read any of my helpful posts on this blog, you’ll see that I use the word “helpful” a lot.

I shall now provide helpful links to my four previous helpful posts with “helpful” in the title (here, here, here, and here).

I wonder if it’s helpful for me to remember that the last time I wrote a blog post about a word I use frequently (Day 734: Actually), somebody actually tried to be helpful by advising me about how to use that word less. Is it helpful for me to confess that I don’t want to use the word “helpful” less, because I like the word “helpful”?

Is it helpful for me to speculate why I like the word “helpful” so much?

I guess I like to be helpful to other people, especially in my work as an individual and group therapist. I also think it’s helpful for me to remember that people I want to help are in control of any helpful changes I might wish for them. Perhaps it would be helpful to quote this helpful lightbulb joke right now:

How many psychotherapists does it take to change a lightbulb?

One, but the lightbulb has to really want to change.

Here’s my first helpful photograph from yesterday:

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It might be helpful if I explain that photo. “Is that a helpful thought?” can be a helpful challenge to any cognitive distortion, including shoulds, fortune-telling,  catastrophizing, mind-reading, blaming, labeling, comparisons, and overgeneralization. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a helpful book by Mark Manson.

Are any of my perhaps inexplicable photos from yesterday helpful?

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Since people liked the octopus cookie in yesterday’s post, I thought it would be helpful to take and share that last picture.

Here‘s a helpful video from YouTube:

I always find comments from my readers very helpful.

Helpful thanks to all who helped me create this post and — of course! — to helpful you.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 1579: Action

When people take the action of joining my therapy groups, I recommend these weekly actions:

  1.  Do something mindfully, using your senses to stay in the moment.
  2. Take one action you think would be helpful.
  3. Notice and challenge an unhelpful thought.

For example, I am writing this blog post mindfully, using my senses to stay in the moment. I just took the helpful action of writing an email to my realtor, expressing my thoughts and feelings about a property.  My next action is to notice unhelpful thoughts about an action I took yesterday:

I’ve made another mistake.  I should have known better.

Here’s the action of challenging that unhelpful thought:

 Everybody makes mistakes.  I’m doing the best I can. Every mistake is an opportunity for me to learn and grow.

Yesterday, my actions included:

  • Voting for myself to be the next president of a group psychotherapy organization,
  • Putting an offer on a house near the water,
  • Expressing appreciation for the departing interns at work, and
  • Facilitating two therapy groups.

Every day, I take action shots and share the action here.

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When I show up at YouTube and gently search for “action” there, it’s true that I find this:

If you think it would be helpful to make a comment below, please take action.

My final action in this post?  Expressing gratitude to all who helped me create it and to you — of course! — for your action of visiting this blog today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 1562: The mind

I hope you don’t mind that I’m starting out this post with a drawing of the mind that I did not draw.

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My mind noticed that drawing of the mind on the white board of my fellow psychotherapist, Megan, yesterday.  My mind is now doing its best to remember Megan’s explanation of that drawing — I believe it represents confusion on the top of the mind and the attempt to go deeper into the mind, past the confusion.

I hope Megan, who reads this blog, does not mind the way I explained her drawing.

Because the mind makes connections and comparisons, my mind is now remembering a drawing of the mind I made several years ago (which figured in this old post, if you don’t mind my linking to that).

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My mind is now noticing that both Megan and I have observed that human beings often have negative and uncomfortable thoughts and experiences on the top (or the front) of their minds and that they have to work hard to get past those.

Indeed, my mind has been struggling, lately, to get past negative and unhelpful thoughts including fortune-telling, catastrophizing, mind-reading, comparisons, shoulds, and the other common cognitive distortions listed here (if you don’t mind another link in this post).

I hope you don’t mind that today’s post has so few pictures:

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As my mind thinks seriously and thinks honestly, it wishes I had photos of last night’s family Seder.  My iPhone was otherwise engaged, FaceTiming with my son Aaron (whose fine mind is currently studying at the University of Edinburgh). Family members asked me last night if I minded Aaron being so far away from me. My mind seriously and honestly answered this way, “I miss him, but I don’t mind, because Edinburgh is the perfect place for him.”

My mind now wants to share this with you:

My mind now has the strange feeling I’ve ended other posts exactly like this before:  Thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for reading it.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 1553: It’s all about me

It’s another day, here at the Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally, when it’s all about me.

For example, this photo was taken by me:

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Yes, it’s all about me, all day.

How should Me Me Me Day be celebrated by me?

Me, I’m going to do what’s best for me and my health, which includes letting go of unhelpful thoughts about me, like these:

  • Nobody understands me.
  • Other people don’t care about me.
  • The world doesn’t appreciate me.
  • Things will never work out for me.
  • You’re not listening to me.

Whenever it’s all about me and my unhelpful thoughts, that’s a miserable “me, me, me” day for me.

To further celebrate Me Me Me Day, here are more photos taken by me.

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Because it’s all about me, here’s a YouTube video created by my son Aaron — who is a person who was created by me — and which includes a scream, by me, in the first few minutes:

There are other things in that video that are all about me:

  • Many of the scenes take place in a home which is all about me.
  • The lines “I’ll pass!’ and “What about William Henry Harrison?” are delivered by Michael, a man who is loved by me.
  • The bird salt shaker was purchased by me.
  • One of the watches in “Watch” belongs to me.
  • The “No Judgment” on the blackboard is a reference to me.
  • There’s an acknowledgement to me in the credits.

Since it’s all about me, why not leave a comment for me?

Bunches of thanks to all who helped me create this all-about-me post and to you — of course! — from me.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 1550: Worrying and Planning

Earlier this week, I spoke to somebody in therapy who believed  worrying was a necessary part of planning.

I replied, without worrying about it, “No, no, no, no. Worrying is never helpful.  Never.”

While I rarely plan to use all-or-nothing statements like that, I do believe that worrying never helps. People often believe that worrying helps motivate planning. Actually, worrying wastes valuable time and energy while you’re planning.  Planning is much more productive and fun without the burden of worrying.

Even though we weren’t planning on it, we had a good discussion about the uselessness of worrying.  At the end of the therapy session, we both said, “No worries.”

Right now, I’m planning

  • to sing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” accompanying myself on a Kalimba and
  • to see a house by the water, which we might make an offer on.

I’ve been planning to write today’s blog post in order to let go of any worrying about all that.

I’m planning on sharing all the photos I took yesterday, without any worrying.

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Are you worrying about what music I’m planning to include here?

If you’re planning on leaving a comment, I’m not worrying about that, either.

I’m always planning to end each post with gratitude to all who helped me create it and to you — of course! — no matter what you’re planning today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 1530: Obscure Sorrows

Earlier this year, I wrote a post referring to John Koenig‘s Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, which is “a compendium of invented words” “to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for.”

Yesterday, in my therapy group  (where  I’m always on the lookout for obscure sorrows and other feelings), one of the members brought in three entries from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.

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While some things in those photos might be obscure, people in the group last night noticed that two of those obscure words were real and only one — Altschmerz — really belongs in the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. People did not obscure their appreciation for the relevancy of the real word Weltschmerz:

Weltschmerz is the depressing feeling you get when comparing the actual state of the world to the picture in your head of how the world should be, and knowing that the picture in your head can never exist.

We also discussed the obscure sorrows created by the cognitive distortion of comparisons, especially when we compare ourselves to how we used to be or how we think we should be.

Do you see any obscure sorrows in some recent pictures in my head (and in my iPhone) that can exist in this blog?

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I feel self-compassion as I admit that I sometimes obscure sorrows with lots of pictures.

Here‘s John Koenig giving the TED talk “The conquest of new words” (which was in an link obscured in the first paragraph of this Obscure Sorrows post):

Are there any obscure sorrows or other feelings you’d like to share in a comment, below?

I will not obscure my thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — no matter what obscure feelings or thoughts you’re having, here and now.

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 1515: Jealousy

Jealousy is one of those “negative” human emotions  which can make people uncomfortable.

Yesterday, the members of my therapy group discussed jealousy  without judgment. Any jealousy about that?

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I doubt there’s any jealousy about my handwriting and drawing abilities. This is what I wrote, yesterday, about jealousy:

  1. Jealousy is a human emotion. I am afraid of other people’s jealousy — I’m afraid the feeling is going to hurt me. But other people’s feelings and thoughts cannot hurt me.
  2. What makes jealousy worse for you? Lack of self-care. Cognitive distortions. Fear. $ Money.
  3. What helps you deal with jealousy? Self care. Recognizing it’s just a feeling. Leaning back and letting jealousy go by me without hurting me.

What are your thoughts and feelings about jealousy?

Do you have jealousy about any of my other photos from yesterday?

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Comparisons — the thief of joy — can often lead to jealousy.

Any jealousy about my having a wonderful son, who is turning 19 today and whose YouTube video has  90,000 views this morning?

Any jealousy about all the gratitude I have for everyone who helped me create this post and — of course! — for you?

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Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

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