Let’s suppose you’re going to a concert with your friends and all your friends are expecting their favorite band to sing and perform for them. They have dressed up and are in their best mood for the evening. Whereas you are thinking about the dress that doesn’t fit you the way you were expecting it to fit.
Let’s suppose you’re going to a concert with your friends and all your friends are expecting their favorite band to sing and perform for them. They have dressed up and are in their best mood for the evening. Whereas you are thinking about the dress that doesn’t fit you the way you were expecting it to fit. Also, the weather outside looks unfriendly and you can’t help but notice the gushing air through your window. While you’re at your home waiting for your friends to pick you up, you are probably thinking you’re going to be late.
The point is that instead of focusing on the exciting and positive evening, you are using all your mental energy into thinking about the worst things that can ruin your evening with your friends. You filter out the positive aspects of your night out and dwell on thoughts that will soon consume your mind and induce a a mental state that will ruin your feelings and hence your experiences of that night.
How Does It Affect Your Life?
This filtering is a type of cognitive distortion behavior that can lead to lethargy, stress, anxiety, depression, and fear. Your friends will be having the best night of their lives while your mind is engaged on the negative side of things; like how much your sweating, or how the loud music is hurting your ears. This mindset is counterproductive, and will result in dissatisfaction, pessimism, and dismay.
How Can I Stop it from Happening?
To stop this endless downward spiral of nothingness, you need to address the root issues associated with it. The first step is to identify what really makes you feel negative and what things make you feel better. Then, consciously filter out things that do you no good. It is necessary that you set all your intentions clearly.
Letting go of things is another important thing you need to do in order to convert your negative thoughts into something positive. When we hold on to something with a toxic mindset, it eventually becomes disruptive to your mental health. That is why you need to focus more on what is in front of you and not something that happened years ago that you can't seem to let go.
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) leverages your conscious state of the mind to re-focus your attention on what matters. By deliberately stopping negative energy flow from distorted thinking, you can play an important role in changing your mindset. The resultant affect is a higher quality life, more fun with your friends on date night, and less anxiety.
With a positive attitude and a welcoming mindset to new experiences, you can filter thoughts that are productive and contributing to your inner peace. Practicing CBT is not a magical cure that happens overnight though. Much like building a muscle at the gym, patience and discipline are the key virtues to creating strong mental muscles that recognize and correct negative thinking patterns quickly.