Posts Tagged With: cognitive distortions

Day 3300: Favorite Wastes of Time

Twitter is one of my favorite wastes of time, so I asked this question last night:

Some replies pointed out that doing something you enjoy is never a waste of time, and I agree! I explained that I was thinking about this great song by Marshall Crenshaw, “You’re My Favorite Waste of Time.”

Another one of my favorite “wastes of time” these days is the TV show Ted Lasso.

When I saw my Primary Care Doctor recently, she told me she’s watched both seasons of Ted Lasso many times and how that’s been helping her get through the pandemic. I completely trust my doctor, so I’m taking that TV Rx and I’m loving it.

What’s NOT a favorite waste of time is believing old, unhelpful and judgmental labels.

Another favorite “waste of time” for me is sharing images with you every day.

What’s your favorite waste of time?

Thanks to all who choose to waste some time with me here, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 3291: Predicting the future

Predicting the future is difficult for us humans to resist.

In my therapy groups, we talk about recognizing and letting go of the common cognitive distortion of fortune-telling. When we catch ourselves predicting the future (which happens every group), we remind ourselves that we are NOT psychic.

And yet, every person I know predicts the future in one way or another. It’s as if uncertainty is more uncomfortable than deciding what’s going to happen like we know for certain. Which we don’t.

Since the beginning of this New Year, my husband Michael and I have been trying not to predict the future. Ha! My prediction is that we will keep predicting, no matter how we consciously try not to.

Last night, we watched a movie that seemed very good, I thought, at predicting the future — Don’t Look Up.

After we watched it, I, of course, tried predicting the future, by saying this to Michael:

I think that movie might help people realize what’s going on and make things better for the future.

Would anybody like to predict what Michael said or did in response to that?

He rolled his eyes.

Because certain things always happen in this blog, it’s safe predicting the future if you predict the appearance of my latest images.

I’m predicting a future where somebody on Twitter will bitch about my posting the National Days there, which I do every day.

Sometimes our experience of the past leads to better predictions, but not always! For example, I’m holding out hope that the U.S. midterms elections won’t follow the patterns of the past. If they do, I’ll be trying hard not to predict a very bleak future ahead.

I’m predicting that some of you will leave comments below.

Did anybody predict what song I’m going to include today?

Whether or not you predicted it, there’s gratitude in your immediate future.

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

Day 3290: The story of us

The story of today’s blog post starts with this photo that I snapped yesterday at the supermarket:

I took that when my husband Michael and I (who recently had our second wedding anniversary) were doing our weekly food shopping. The story of us at that supermarket was our wearing N95 masks because of the Omnicron variant while many people (including those who worked at the supermarket) were not wearing any masks at all .

The story of us human beings has to include our working together to survive pandemics and global warming without destroying the stories of too many other species.

The story of us is a very anxiety-provoking story these days.

Do you see the story of us in my other images for today?

The story of us often includes our trying to read each other’s minds (a common human cognitive distortion, described here), but I cannot even try to read the minds of people who don’t wear masks in supermarkets.

Here’s “The Story of Us” by Taylor Swift.

The story of me today includes my going in to the hospital to listen to other people’s stories in therapy sessions. I’ll be doing my best to stay safe so I can continue the story of us in this daily blog.

The story of us always includes my gratitude for all who follow my story here, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 3277: What I’ve been writing

What I’ve been writing includes several new songs, like “Spoiler Alert” and “Forgettable.” What I’ve been writing for song lyrics over the years usually reflects my optimistic nature; however, these are the darker words I’ve been writing this morning:

I’m Afraid to Look

I’m afraid to look at the ocean for fear that it’s dying

I’m afraid to look at the earth but I can’t look away.

I’m afraid to look at myself in the mirror

And afraid to look at my friends for what their faces might say.

© Ann Koplow, 2021

Perhaps what I’ve been writing for that song is influenced by the darkness of the winter solstice and by what others are writing about the future.

What I’ve been writing also includes these Tweets:

What I’m writing could never compare to the stories people are discussing on that Twitter thread about stories they liked when they were kids. But as I’ve written on this blog many times, comparisons are the most toxic of all the cognitive distortions (which I’ve written about, here).

What I’m writing, here and now, is this blog post, so it’s time to share my latest photos.

What the Daily Bitch is writing there reminds me of the series “Landscapers,” which has some of the best writing for any television show I’ve seen.

A search for “What I’ve been writing” on YouTube yields this TED talk about reading and writing.

I hope that what you’ve been writing includes a comment, below. And whether it does or doesn’t, many thanks for all who read what I’ve been writing, including YOU!

Categories: climate change, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 3187: Throwing out what no longer fits

Today’s Daily Bitch Calendar is about throwing out what no longer fits.

We all have things that no longer fit — unhelpful thoughts, toxic people, harsh self judgment, second guessing, crippling fears about the future, regrets about the past, hopelessness, body shame, etc. — and wouldn’t it be great to throw those out?

At the end of every therapy group, I invite people to throw out what no longer fits them in a “magic” waste paper basket, which either holds or reduces the power of whatever they throw away. Over the years, people have thrown away a ton of trash in these magic waste paper baskets.

Because all my groups are remote these days, here’s the “home version” of the magic waste paper basket:

Next to the magic waste paper basket is the magic hat, an addition recently suggested by a group member. Out of the magic hat, people can pull whatever they want, like self love, courage, acceptance, strength, and hope.

Do you see anything that fits the magic waste paper basket or the magic hat in my other images for today?

Yesterday, I threw my rough day into the magic waste paper basket and it fit in there just fine.

This is the first thing that comes up on YouTube when I search for “throwing away what doesn’t fit”:

This is the second thing:

What do you need to throw away that doesn’t fit?

Gratitude always fits, so thanks to all who help me create these daily blog posts, including YOU.

Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 3166: No rhyme nor reason

Today, September 1, is National No Rhyme (Nor Reason) Day in the USA.

I started looking at and sharing National Days some time in July, and this is the first day where there seems to be no rhyme nor reason for any of the designations. Why do we need a day for any of these? There seems to be no rhyme nor reason.

Also, every other list of National Days I’ve seen has included some kind of food or drink. Therefore, when I ask on Twitter how people are going to celebrate the precious day, there seems to be a rhyme or reason for that question. For example …

Actually, the more I think about it, No Rhyme Nor Reason Day seems like the perfect day for me to head back into the hospital, since the nose balloon that we hoped would fix my cat-claw-Coumadin nose bleed doesn’t seem to be working. When things don’t work, it can seem like there is no rhyme nor reason to anything. Also, National Burnt Ends Day seems appropriate, since they’ll probably cauterize the end of my nose, where our new kitty Joan scratched me three nights ago.

Maybe there seems to be no rhyme nor reason for me to be writing this blog at 3:45 AM. However, I’m distracting myself because the Ear Nose Throat on-call doctor I spoke to on the phone at 2 AM suggested that I wait some hours before coming in to be seen. The Emergency Room at my hospital is all filled up, she said, and it would be better to wait until 5 AM to show up there and even better if I could wait for my scheduled 10 AM appointment in the ENT clinic.

Maybe the doctor thought there was no rhyme nor reason to my disappointment and discouragement about the balloon not solving the problem as we had hoped. I tend to catastrophize and assume the worst for no rhyme nor reason, and when I expressed my worst fear — that the doctors would not be able to fix this problem for me — she seemed to think there was no rhyme nor reason to my despair.

For no rhyme nor reason, just writing those words is helping me feel better, here and now.

For no rhyme nor reason, I can’t load more images from my phone for this blog post, so I’m going to switch to my laptop to finish creating it.

Is there no rhyme nor reason for these images in today’s post?

Sayings like “We grow through what we go through” help provide some rhyme and reason, don’t you think?

I love George Duke, so here’s “No Rhyme No Reason” from one of my favorite keyboardists, who left this earth for no rhyme nor reason too soon.

.

Here’s “No Rhyme No Reason” performed during a 2014 jazz festival tribute to George Duke, featuring a solo by guitarist Chuck Loeb, who also left this earth too soon for no rhyme nor reason that I can see or understand.

.

For No Rhyme (Nor Reason) Day, I’ve written this rhyme for my own reasons.

On No Rhyme Nor Reason Day,

I think it’s wise for me to say,

That nosebleeds aren’t the worst things that occur.

People die before their time,

At least I’m still alive to rhyme,

And Joan the cat can soothe me with her purr.

There is no reason to rhyme any comments, below.

There’s always a rhyme and a reason to express gratitude, so thanks to all those who help me blog every day, including YOU!

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

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

Blog at WordPress.com.