Posts Tagged With: cognitive distortions

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: , , , , , , , , , | 6 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: , , , , , , , , | 20 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

Day 1632: This place matters

This place matters, because we’re here, now.

Your place matters, no matter where you are.

This place in downtown Boston matters:

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The place where I’m writing this blog matters, even though we’re leaving it this summer. Yesterday, I took care of legal matters in selling this place.

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The law matters, every place.

My office —  where people learn to recognize and reduce  cognitive distortions — matters.

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I placed that sign back up on my office wall yesterday, because those cognitive distortions matter. Does it matter that I’ve placed parentheses around the feelings caused by those all-too-common human and automatic thoughts?

Do these photos of other places matter?

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The meals that Michael places on our plates matter, because they are SO delicious.

Searching “this place” on YouTube matters.

When I was in a difficult place as a kid, seeing David McCallum on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. mattered a lot to me.

Your comments make this place matter much, much more.

Gratitude matters!  That’s why I place it at the end of every post.  Many thanks to all who help me place my daily blog on WordPress and — of course! — to you, for placing yourself here.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 1629: What helps and what doesn’t help

When I help people join my therapy groups, I tell them we will work on doing more of what helps and less of what doesn’t help. I help people understand that by saying, “What helps and what doesn’t help  might include thoughts, behaviors,  and other people.”  Because it helps to change old habits by writing things down, I helpfully suggest they keep track of what helps and what doesn’t help them.

Because it helps to know you’re not alone, I explain that I also keep track of what helps and what doesn’t help me.

What helps me?

  • Acceptance.
  • Love.
  • Creativity.
  • Flexibility.
  • Peace.
  • Connection.
  • Nature.
  • Forgiveness.
  • Blogging.
  • My work.
  • Family.
  • Friends.
  • Groups.
  • Mutual healing.
  • Curiosity.
  • Openness.
  • Authenticity.
  • Music.

 

What doesn’t help me?

Does it help to look at these photos?

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What also helps me is gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 1623: What thoughts intimidate you?

What thoughts intimidate you?

Your own thoughts?

Other people’s thoughts?

These days, I am more intimidated by my own unhelpful thoughts than I am by other people’s thoughts.

Any thoughts about my photos from yesterday?

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Do any of those thoughts or photos  intimidate you?

Yesterday, I was not intimidated by the thought of becoming President of the Northeastern Society of Group Psychotherapy (NSGP). Nobody else seemed intimidated by the thought of that, either.

Tonight, after another full day at the NSGP annual conference, I’m going to see the intimidatingly talented jazz guitarist, Pat Metheny.  I just searched for “Pat Metheny intimidating” in YouTube, and here‘s what came up:

Please leave any thoughts in a comment, below.

Thoughtful thanks to NSGP, to Erica (a board member from the New York affiliate group therapy organization), to Steve Cadwell (who ran yesterday’s “Group Therapy as Theater” Workshop), to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to Pat Metheny,  to everyone else who helped me create this (I hope!) non-intimidating post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

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