Monday, June 8, 2015

The Merry-Go-Round of Cognitive Distortion

Do you ever feel like life is twirling around on a merry-go-round? Like your Mondays-Fridays are wished away, so you can just get to the weekend and relax? I have a friend who told me he gets the “Saturday blues” because he knows that Sunday is around the corner, and the work week will be upon him once again too soon.
The merry-go-round of life- 7 days, 24 hours to fill in each, 365 of these days in a year, and then it’s done all over again.
It’s a trap. Truly, if you think about its cyclical pattern, it’s a false sense of control. It’s man made. It’s an undefined movement in life that humans have made into something measurable. It’s easier to think this way, in measure, so we all listen to time, and we use it to structure our lives.
What if I told you that your thought pattern is similar to this merry-go-round of life?   From your beginnings on the planet, you are taught certain pieces of definition that you hold on to as truths of you.
            “I’m an athlete, I’m smart, I’m good at guitar, I’m handsome.” Maybe those are some thoughts that you have about yourself. Maybe those were the foundation of who you were as a child, and they are the truths that you hold onto today. 
           But what happens when there are not so nice cognitions that run through your head?
            “I’m a failure. I’m never good enough. I won’t succeed.”
           These types of cognitions are called cognitive distortions. Because even if they are true to the task at hand, they are not true for every single event or accomplishment that you are a part of or that you are trying to complete. 
          If you are someone who holds onto these cognitive distortions, you end up walking into whatever task you are supposed to accomplish with those evil little thoughts tugging at the back of your head. They keep a tight hold on you. And they may beat you to the finish line, proving themselves correctly, because they want to prove to you that they are stronger than you are.
            I was listening to the radio last night and Pink’s song “F***in’ Perfect” was on. She talks about this very thing in her lyrics-
  • You’re so mean when you talk about yourself, you were wrong
  • Change the voices in your head make them like you instead
          Even here, Pink, a human, talks psychology; she talks cognitive distortion, and she even has a solution. Change. Change the voices in your head and make them like you. Make those cognitions tell you who you want to be, “I am strong. I am bold. I am exactly who I am supposed to be.” Get that merry-go-round to listen to who you are and what you want to be. Take control of your own cognitive merry-go-round. 
          Oh, and try to enjoy the Mondays-Fridays, they aren’t so bad. After all, the time will pass regardless of what you’re thinking anyways.

Shine On,

Dr. Kate

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