Irrational Beliefs – Part 4

Here are 3 irrational beliefs (cognitive distortions) that we need to watch out for and fix since they can lead to lower self-esteem and harm our everyday interactions.

 Always being right – When an individual often puts on a trial other people’s opinions and actions to prove that they are right. They struggle with the irrational belief that being wrong is unacceptable, and they go to any length to validate their argument.

What to do: Practice the Cost-Benefit Analysis Technique to list the advantages and disadvantages of this behavior. Ask yourself how it makes you feel and what you are gaining with an inappropriate attitude. This method examines the underlying motivation, which encourages you to be sensitive and attuned with your noble intentions. In other words, the practice improves emotional intelligence, which plays an important role in our interpersonal relationships.

Personalization involves taking everything personally or blaming yourself or someone else for an issue that was out of control, and a variety of factors played a role in it. This distortion also drives the person to compare himself to others to establish who is smart or attractive.

What to do:

  1. Stop recounting the problem repeatedly to yourself or others so that the toxic emotions are not reinforced—question what part you played in the issue’s outcome.
  2. Change the pattern, view error as an opportunity for self-improvement rather than failure—question what role you played in the problem’s outcome.
  3. Be mindful of your tendency to taking things personally and blaming others.
  4. Do recognize that everyone has their own struggles and life story.

Emotional Reasoning is when you are looking for external causes for your feelings. For instance: “I am anxious, so I must be in danger.” “I feel judged; this means that people are judging me.”

What to do:

  • Apply Double Standard Technique; instead of beating up on yourself mercilessly, pretend that you are talking to a friend with the same problem. Naturally, you will be more caring and practical. Try the same approach be a friend to yourself.
  • Practice Socratic Method: question to expose contradictions in your thoughts and ideas. Put yourself in the hot seat and find holes in your beliefs. Under pressure with critical thinking, reasoning, and logic, you will notice how a change in facts can change your perspective.

Hopefully, this piece and the previous posts have given you a solid understanding of irrational thoughts based on hidden assumptions that we can all experience at one time or another. Whether you are struggling with mental health or not, it helps evaluate our thinking patterns now and then. Yes, the introspection, either by tackling your own struggles or seeking out CBT Therapy, is extremely valuable. It helps us live a productive life by patching up the negativity and building resilience.

 

Artwork by Maja Borowicz

How to feel lasting joy?

I have been contemplating the word joy or happiness in the past few years if I may use them interchangeably. What’s best for me, what gives me pleasure, and most importantly, how do I measure my well-being? Typically, our pursuits, interests, experiences, and how we choose to live form part of our well-being value list. Hopping from the linguistic meaning of the word to the spectrum of emotions defined by psychology and finally to the philosophical value of joy, I was on a mission to find my answers.

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Cyril Rolando

The first lesson was that life could go well or not and influence our state of mind; however, to feel joy is about orienting the heart towards peace. Taking a dip into the real meaning of pleasure was to remove all the superficial layers of how people portray their personality as a smiling emoji. At the same time, one could observe their tensions and frustrations.

I learned that it is OK to explore, and you are not obligated to smile all the time and pretend to be cheery when you are fearful, frustrated or when your incredible inner hulk is about to pop up. All the emotional rollercoaster ride had nothing to do with feeling genuine joy.

Deep down, we all can feel happiness! If you have no desire to be part of the pretentious Cheshire cat group on a merry go round, then start the inner-reflection. Hush all the noise of what encapsulates joy characterized by the latest trends in cultural concepts, social belief, or editorial images and re-connect to your heart.

Throughout civilization, whether through Eastern or Western philosophies and scientific research, the indication that the heart is the most important organ in the human body is prevalent. From Aristotle or Abu-Nasr al-Farabi, Ninth century Arabic philosopher, to Prof. Paul Pearsall, a clinical neuropsychologist and clinical professor of the University of Hawaii, they all pointed to the power of the heart to store memory, a center of reason and having the ability to think. Prof. Pearsall’s research on heart transplant patients indicated the possibility that a donor’s personality traits transfer to the recipient. The parallels ranged from the same taste in food and music to sexual and job preferences. Moreover, the electrical frequencies of our hearts are much stronger than our brains. Importantly, our heart transmits many instructions to the brain on what to do.

Our heart and brain communicate in four ways: 1- Neurologically, via nerve impulses, 2- Energetically, via magnetic fields, 3- Biochemically, via hormones and neuro transmitting chemicals, 4- Biophysically, via blood flow. The energetic interaction of the heart, most specifically the heart’s magnetic field, envelops every cell of the body and extends out in all directions, 6 to 10 feet, into space. Hence, the coherence between the heart and the brain is vital to feel joy. This state of flow is to quiet your mind and to open your heart.

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Only for you – Catrin Welz-Stein

During the chaos, confusion, or heartbreak, align your self-healing power with the concept of peace. The harmony and the lack of hostility take the individual to a time in the future. If we have the capacity to lower our blood pressure, improve our hormonal balance to recover from heart attacks, then we are able to self-regulate independent of the external conditions. A clear intention to feel joy elevates the electrical charge and serves as a magnet. Knowing that happiness is one of the heart’s elevated feelings, learning about self-regulation and practice leads to lasting fulfillment.
By improving brain function through the heart, we reach mental clarity and discern a joy greater and more profound than a smile.

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Cyril Rolando

The second lesson was to stop judging and getting over the fear of being judged. Being compared, evaluated, or to make a judgment are exhausting sentiments. Recognize that the anxiety of disappointment, fear of failure, or shame is just a perception. By opening your heart to find harmony and immersing yourself and others into the created space, the judgments become irrelevant and unworthy.

Mastering to use your heart’s wisdom allows you to reach the inner-peace and a fulfilling relationship with yourself, which can immensely impact and be the magnet for the pursuit of happiness and life you want to lead.

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Cyril Rolando

Featured image by Cyril Rolando