Think About These Things

"The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking." - Albert Einstein

”Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8

“People are disturbed not by things, but by the views which they take of them.” - Epictetus

Thoughts. Our filter. The lens with which we view our lives. I recently read that there are no “stressful” events; rather, it’s our interpretation of events, the appraisal of our situations, and our own judgments about our ability to cope with problems successfully that activate our body’s stress response.

Common unhelpful ways of thinking, most of which have become automatic and need to be consciously redirected, can be addressed in the counseling setting by coming up with more beneficial ways of thinking.

Here are Common Types of Negative Automatic Thoughts:

-All-or-Nothing Thinking “I can’t do ANYthing right!”

-Catastrophizing “It was be awful if I can’t do it.”

-Discounting Positives “I just got lucky.”

-Fortunetelling “I won’t do it right.”

-Labeling “I’m an idiot.”

-Mind Reading “They think I’m stupid.”

-“Should Statements” “I should be the best.”

(Taken from CBT: Integrating Cognitive-Behavioral Strategies into Your Practice by Michael Otto et al.)

Anecdotally, I’m convinced that EVERY TEENAGER I have ever met is guilty of Mind Reading with peers. We all struggle with these thought patterns from time to time. While some are more affected by them than others, unhealthy patterns of thinking can be a huge hindrance to thriving in life. Gaining some peace of mind from the need to be perfect, the constant beating-yourself-up statements, and discounting the good that others try to insert into one’s life is not only a relief, but I would say a necessity. It’s too exhausting and a total time-suck to be thinking this way.

heather lokteff, teen counselor, portland

#thoughts #stress #therapist #therapy #counseling #counselor

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