From the Medical Dictionary, distorted thinking is defined as:
Any of a number of ’emotional traps’ that prevent a person from addressing negative emotions Forms of DT All-or-nothing thinking, overgeneralization, mental filtering, personalizing blame.
We all go through some form of emotional traps in our day to day lives but if we are aware of the forms of distorted thinking, we can stop them in their tracks instead of journeying further down the rabbit hole.
What got me thinking about all this was running across a blog called Beyond Blue, in particular the video post entry about Distorted Thinking. The author creates an entry with a video blog regarding 5 forms of distorted thinking that she most often encounters. Here is a high level recap:
- Mind Reading
- All or Nothing
- Discount the Positive
While I am generally a positive person, I do catch myself in some distorted thoughts. For example, one of the most recent things was I became paranoid a coworker of mine was trying to get me sick on purpose, knowing that I am a bit paranoid of getting sick. Sure, I know this person doesn’t like me (not everyone has to like me) but when I really start to think about things, perhaps the sickness is ‘just in the air’.
Last week I saw a nurse practitioner and she recommended that I throw out my tooth brush after finishing a dose of antibiotics. The reason being so I would not re-infect myself. Just because I start coughing again, that does not mean a coworker is trying to infect me. Perhaps my son gave it back to me since he’s coughing now. Perhaps another neighbor or someone I interact at work with has a sickness. Perhaps I’m just being paranoid and this is the time of the season when a lot of people get sick.
So, instead of worrying about who/what/when/if I get sick again, I am just working on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and environment. I have been drinking A LOT of water at work as well as disinfecting my work environment in the mornings. I make sure to wipe down the phone, keyboard, mouse, and work surface. Sure, I still cough a bit from time to time, but it’s nothing to dwell over.