Feb. 12, 2013

Positive Reinforcement Reduces Stress

Negative Thinking Habits

Everyone has a gamut of thoughts running through their heads.  Many believe these thoughts are truths rather than ideas or perceptions and act on them foolishly not realizing this is causing stress due to the perceived need or expectation from others or self to act on them.   The feelings and judgments associated with disappointment, failure, expectation, and overwhelmance can have a devastating effect upon the nervous system resulting in immense stress.   Thoughts are things, hence carry power and energy.

Nevertheless, thoughts can be positive and therefore helpful to us.  Contrarily, negative thinking can lead to greater stress.  It is a way of thinking about yourself and your world that distorts how situations truly are.

Common Habits of Negative Thinking:

Herein are a few common habits of negative thinking which include:

Overgeneralization - incorporating words like “never, always, every, nobody, everyone”, i.e. “Everybody can do it.”, self-blame.

Personalization - taking things to mean yourself when they don’t apply to you, also known as taking everything personally, i.e. when someone says something is ugly, you think that is about you.  Constantly comparing yourself to others.

Mind Reading - implies that everyone agrees with your opinion of yourself, jumping to conclusions on no evidence at all.

Perfectionism - implies everything must be done perfectly and without error; setting standards too high for yourself.

Catastrophising - over dramatizing; believing things are much worse than they are.

Selective Seeing/Hearing – focusing more on the negative than the positive.

Perhaps you can identify with some or all (to some extent) the thinking patterns above.  As aforementioned, the problem with negative thinking is not simply believing your thoughts are truths but acting on them as though they are.  Hence, your body will respond with the Fight or Flight syndrome as though there is a life-threatening event, as fear is usually associated with the negative behavior that follows the negative thoughts, and thus causes a great deal of stress.

In a stress management session, you would receive tools that aid you in combating these negative thoughts and the compulsion to act on them and learn how to replace them with positive ones.  Prayer is a start, however, not a means to an end.  The object is to eradicate the habit of negative thinking effortlessly and altogether. 

Under my “Videos” section I will be performing a brief breathing exercise incorporating positive thinking/reinforcement.  Many people like to use affirmations to reinforce positive thinking.  However, this is not the method I choose because I judge affirmations to be a future promise of who you may or can become whereas focusing on the positive aspects of the reality of who you are today will keep you in the moment.

Thus I invite you to think about all your positive qualities, write them down, and review what you would like to use in the positive reinforcement video.  In the video, I will be incorporating my own positive qualities and inviting you to use your own.  Also do the same for your negative qualities as the goal of the process is to expel these and replace them with your positive qualities.

See Muscle Tension or return to menu on top.

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