Posts Tagged With: cognitive distortions

Day 3130: Predicting the future

I haven’t looked at the news yet, but I’m predicting that much of it involves people predicting the future.

We humans specialize in predicting the future, especially when the present is uncomfortable and confusing.

When I’m predicting the future, I’m usually catastrophizing — assuming the worst case scenario. I do that to prepare myself, but that prevents me from being in the moment — which actually helps me to prepare better for what’s coming.

Two of my tweets yesterday were about predicting the future.

I was predicting that those tweets would be much more popular than they were. I couldn’t predict that this tweet would be MUCH more popular:

As always, I’m terrible at predicting the future. However, I predict that I’ll keep trying to do it.

Certain things are easy to predict, like my sharing images every day in this blog.

I wouldn’t have predicted that the Daily Bitch would be so non-bitchy today! Maybe that’s because it’s “National Love is Kind” Day.

I’m predicting that I’ll find something interesting on YouTube if I search for “predicting the future.”

Here’s a song from Donald Fagen about predicting the future:

I’m predicting that some of you will comment on this blog and some of you won’t.

If you predicted that I would end this post with gratitude, you are correct!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Day 3083: Lovable

My lovable readers, which of today’s images seem lovable to you?

Personally, I think the Daily Bitch is very lovable. And cognitive distortions like personalization get in the way of feeling lovable.

Is this a lovable version of “You’re Nobody ‘til Somebody Loves You”?

No matter how lovable you feel, please leave a comment, below.

It’s lovable to express and receive gratitude, so thanks to all who help me blog daily, including YOU.

Categories: gratitude, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, self esteem | Tags: , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 3044: Your thoughts

Your thoughts, I’m thinking, go everywhere. Your thoughts go into the future, sometimes with anxiety and fear. They go into the past, sometimes with regret. Your thoughts go all around the world.

Your thoughts, for whatever reason, have trouble staying in the here and now.

Your thoughts can keep you awake when you are trying to sleep.

Your thoughts can be unhelpful cognitive distortions, like personalization, catastrophizing, mind-reading, and blaming.

Your thoughts can be busy, serene, hopeless, hopeful, rigid, flexible, judgmental, open, quick, slow, mean, loving, painful, and reassuring.

Your thoughts affect your feelings and your behaviors.

Whatever your thoughts are, more thoughts are coming.

What are your thoughts about today’s images?

When I search YouTube for “your thoughts,” this is what I find:

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

As always, at the end of every blog post, my thoughts turn to gratitude for everything, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2951: I got nothing

For the first time since I started blogging eight years ago, I feel like I got nothing today.

Maybe I feel like I got nothing because I’m

  • tired,
  • overwhelmed,
  • sick of bullies, injustice, and conspiracy theories,
  • done with the coronavirus (even though the coronavirus is not done with us), and
  • having some reactions to my first vaccine, including soreness and fever.

I may feel like I got nothing but I got these images to share with you:

Even when I feel like I got nothing, I got a lot.

Darius Rucker performed “I Got Nothing” at the White House seven years ago, and that’s something.

Even if you feel like you got nothing, consider leaving something in the comments section, below.

I got nothing but gratitude for all who help me blog every day, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 2866: Living with uncertainty

Living with uncertainty is very difficult, yet we do it every day. Certainty is often an illusion — a denial of mortality and the constant changes we are barely aware of.

Here and now, as we live with the uncertainties of the pandemic and the results of the USA election, the level of uncertainty is very difficult to live with. I’m certain how this uncertainty is affecting me, my family, my friends, and my patients:

  • insomnia,
  • changes in appetite,
  • stress eating,
  • anger,
  • hopelessness,
  • helplessness,
  • worry,
  • anxiety,
  • depression,
  • lack of motivation,
  • a reversion to old unhelpful habits,
  • withdrawal,
  • fear,
  • catastrophizing,
  • blaming,
  • all-or-nothing thinking,
  • mind-reading, and
  • the rest of the cognitive distortions (which I’m certain you can find here).

I’m uncertain how I and millions of other people are going to live with so much uncertainty in the days ahead.

In a sea of uncertainty, I’m certain that routines — like daily blogging — help. I’m certain I have new images to share but I’m uncertain exactly what they are.

I’m certain that I felt less uncertainty about the future when I took those photos than I’m feeling now.

Here‘s “The Courage to Live with Radical Uncertainty” — a Ted Talk given by “Compassion-Driven Oncologist Shekinah Elmore” in March 2020, right before our current age of uncertainty.

Here‘s “Coping with Uncertainty” by MindTools Videos:

What are your thoughts and feelings about living with uncertainty?

No matter how I’m living with uncertainty, I’m certainly grateful to all who help me create this daily blog, including YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, 2020 U.S. Presidential election, blogging, cognitive behavioral therapy | Tags: , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2745: First guess, best guess

What’s your first guess about why today’s post is titled “First guess, best guess”? Let’s find out if it’s the best guess.

Since the first day I met my best friend/husband Michael, he’s been saying, “First guess, best guess.”

One of my other best friends wrote to me the other day, when I felt insecure about how I had run a board meeting:  “I’m not sure 2nd guessing is helpful.”

Is it your first guess, best guess that both those pieces of advice — “First guess, best guess” and “I’m not sure 2nd guessing is helpful” — mean the same thing?

I love guessing and I don’t stop with my first guess. If I DID stop with my first guess, our ailing and adorable cat Oscar would not be alive today.  Also, Michael’s first guess was that the Social Security office had his correct birthday on file and they did NOT.  My next guess about filing our taxes is that we’ll have to do that by mail, which is not exactly a catastrophe (although my first guess — when the IRS rejected our e-filing this weekend because Michael’s birthday on the form did not match Social Security’s record — was that it WAS a catastrophe).

Catastrophizing is a common cognitive distortion (which we talk about in my Coping and Healing groups) where our first guess is that a catastrophe is imminent, even though it isn’t.

Since catastrophizing is a first guess, not best guess, I’m now guessing that “first guess, best guess” is not always best.

However, my first guess about Michael, when I first met him on okCupid, was that he was a wonderful person I wanted in my life.  I’ve had similar first guess, best guesses about other people, including the other best friend I quoted above.

My best guess about guesses, here and now, is that it’s best to trust our intuition AND also be open to new evidence that comes along.

What’s your first guess, best guess about what’s next in this blog post?

If you guessed photos, your first guess was the best!

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In today’s Daily Bitch Calendar, auto-correct’s first guess was not the best guess.

This is the first song I heard by The Guess Who, which I think is their best:

My first guess was that the title of that song was “She’s Come Undone” but my best guess is that it is “Undun.”

My first guess, best guess is that there will be great comments about today’s post.

First guess, best guess, constant guess is to express gratitude every day.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 2699: For now

For now,

  • Oscar seems to be feeling better, perhaps due to his steroid medication,
  • friends and family seem to be well,
  • I am not suffering,
  • a lot of people are in pain,
  • I am facilitating a telehealth version of my Coping and Healing groups five times every week,
  • I am using the word “mute” and “unmute” way too often,
  • I’m working from home for the foreseeable future,
  • I am still President of the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy,
  • pasta is still my favorite food,
  • the weather in Boston is beautiful,
  • I am living near the water,
  • most people in my neighborhood are wearing masks when they are outside,
  • I see a lot of white male rage,

  • I love Melissa Villasenõr,
  • I believe in skill, perseverance, flexibility,  and luck,
  • I was inexplicably able to fix an inexplicable and annoying display change on my laptop,
  • when somebody calls me “annoying” or any other critical label, I have trouble letting go of that,
  • I think saying “hello” and “goodbye” are both very important,
  • focusing on the future often raises anxiety,
  • I’m trying to avoid fortune telling, mind reading, and the other cognitive distortions,
  • I prefer to live in the now,
  • I am very grateful for all that I have, and
  • I am sharing all my photos from yesterday.

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For now and forever, I don’t drink wine because I’m on Coumadin for the rest of my life. For now, I am totally fine with that.

For now, I need to end this post and get ready for work, so thanks to all who helped me create another “For Now” post, including YOU!

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Categories: heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2639: Nuts! We’re all nuts!

Hello, my fellow nuts!  Today’s title is inspired by the very first photo I took yesterday:

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We’re all nuts because people are still

  • ignoring requests from governments to maintain social distancing,
  • hoarding certain provisions,
  • acting in old ways in the face of major new realities, and
  • personalizing, labeling, minimizing, magnifying, blaming, fortune-telling, mind-reading, negative-filtering, and all those other nutty cognitive distortions.

I hope that we nuts can figure out how to save ourselves and the planet before it’s too late, so we can keep being nuts together in less nutty ways.

All my photos today are nuts!

 

If you’re nuts about any of those photos, you can click on them to enlarge them.

Here‘s one of my favorite songs about how we’re all nuts (from before the days of social distancing):

 

If you’re nuts like me, please leave a comment below.

I am grateful to share this nutty blog with you, every day!

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Categories: health care, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 2603: Metaphors

As an English literature major and a clinician practicing narrative therapy, I often notice metaphors, including thinly veiled ones:

If you read carefully that comic strip by Levni Yilmaz, you’ll also discover cognitive distortions including shoulds, emotional reasoning, labeling, and blaming.

Do you see any metaphors in my other captured images from yesterday?

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I wonder if it’s a metaphor that on this Presidents’ Day weekend my phone and my laptop are not communicating and are refusing to share images with each other. Maybe it’s a metaphor that I’m working harder to create these posts, starting on my phone and then completing my daily blog on my laptop.

Nevertheless, it’s easy enough to share this metaphor-filled song, performed by The Temptations and UB40:

I look forward to any metaphors, similes, or other figures of speech in your comments, below.

Thanks to all who helped me create this “Metaphors” post, including YOU!

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2544: Emotional Reasoning

Emotional Reasoning is one of the cognitive distortions in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Emotional Reasoning is defined here as follows:

Emotional Reasoning.
We take our emotions as evidence for the truth. Examples: “I feel inadequate, so there must be something wrong with me.” “I feel overwhelmed and hopeless, therefore the situation must be impossible to change or improve.” (Note that the latter can contribute to procrastination.) While suppressing or judging feelings can be unhelpful, it’s important to recognize the difference between feelings and facts.

My definition of “Emotional Reasoning” does NOT include examples of the negative aspect of that, as in “I do NOT feel that way, therefore it’s not true.” I’m reasoning that I could have written that definition with this example: “I do not feel adequate, so there must be something wrong with me.”

All this came to my emotional mind this morning when I read this news headline:

President Trump: “It doesn’t really feel like we’re being impeached”

To me, it doesn’t really feel like

  • Trump is President,
  • I’m getting married a week from tomorrow, or
  • the human race is going to survive.

That is all emotional reasoning.  I know that two of those statements are true, no matter what I’m feeling.  And I have many emotions about the third statement, so who knows if it’s true?

Do you see emotional reasoning in any of my photos from yesterday?

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Yesterday at work, somebody said that this photo of Harley (taken by my soon-to-be-husband Michael)

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… felt like a photo that Ellen DeGeneres might want to include on her show.  That seemed like emotional reasoning to me, but I submitted it anyway.

“Do You Hear What I Hear” feels like a Christmas song, but that’s not how it was written.

Here’s a portion of the story I heard on the radio yesterday:

While artfully couched in the iconography of the Christian nativity, the songwriters were making a political statement: a plea for peace, and a reminder of the ravages of war.

The song opens with the night wind speaking to a lamb, long a literary symbol of peace. Soon we hear the line, “A star, a star, dancing in the sky//With a tail as big as a kite.”

“The star was meant to be a bomb,” said Gabrielle Regney.

Later we hear the lyrics “A child, a child, shivers in the cold,” which Regney said is a reference to the “real children” who inspired the song.

And the line, “Let us bring him silver and gold” was a reference to “poor children,” said Regney — a reminder of the human cost of war.

But no matter how you interpret the song, Noël Regney and Gloria Shayne left no mistake about the central message at the climax of the song.

“The biggest part for them was the ‘pray for peace’ line,” said Regney. “That line, ‘pray for peace,’ was very big for both of them.”

Do you hear what I hear in this emotional rendition of that song?

Feel free to share emotional reasoning in a comment, below.

There are reasons why I end every post with the emotion of gratitude.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Thanksgiving, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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