no effort, automatic thoughts

Postby IReallyLikePepsiMax » Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:24 am

Hello,

so getting straight to the point, I have this thing were I have really negative thoughts that will pop into my head with little to no effort. This is probably something I have developed over many years without noticing until I decided tonight that I'm sick of it and am going to do something about it. In my defense, I only notice things like this if it gets really bad otherwise it will just linger in the back of my mind and will be a distraction or just unpleasant feeling. I'm just sick to death with this, it is just so inconvenient and annoying.

An example of this happening would be starting to read a new book. I would think "Yes that would be fun, I can learn something new and I can do something for a few hours." Then instantly I'd automatically have thoughts such as "you'll read it for a day then get bored the next" or "you won't be able to remember anything the next morning". Another would be "I am not doing this the right way" etc... etc... Hopefully that gives you an idea of what I'm explaining. This is automatic and have only really noticed it a few moments ago. I'm happy I noticed this because it's been going on for a very long time. I felt a surge of happiness when I put this into words. How do I break this? I enjoy reading and a lot of my old hobbies but this has ruined a large part of it for me. This has affected all parts of my life, you name it. Making breakfast, reading, writing, work, friends...

I've watched a few podcasts before and people "train themselves" by just repeating a type of behavior. I guess that is something I could try? I came here because some people may know what to do or have a better idea of what to do
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#1

Postby Candid » Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:24 am

IReallyLikePepsiMax wrote:I've watched a few podcasts before and people "train themselves" by just repeating a type of behavior. I guess that is something I could try?


Yes, definitely.

Automatic self-criticism and learned helplessness are almost always the products of hypercritical caregivers whose harsh judgments got in 'under the radar' when you were too young to realise what was happening. If you were continually told "that's too hard for you" and "you always mess things up", those are the voices that paralyse you now.

There's no point blaming them for that; they were probably equally hard on themselves and didn't know any other way to raise a child. The best piece of child-rearing advice I've heard is "catch them doing something right". Praise for good stuff and minimisation/comfort for the things that go wrong gives a toddler confidence, and encouragement to do better. You can learn to do that for yourself, but you have to make it a conscious practice in order to overwhelm the negative programming you got.

I'm sure Richard will be along with more specific advice about achievement and goal-setting. In the meantime, practise being kinder to yourself.
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#2

Postby littlebrowndragon » Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:57 pm

IReallyLikePepsiMax wrote:
An example of this happening would be starting to read a new book. I would think "Yes that would be fun, I can learn something new and I can do something for a few hours." Then instantly I'd automatically have thoughts such as "you'll read it for a day then get bored the next" or "you won't be able to remember anything the next morning". Another would be "I am not doing this the right way" etc... etc... Hopefully that gives you an idea of what I'm explaining. This is automatic and have only really noticed it a few moments ago.


Good for you noticing these automatic thoughts. I personally often get those thoughts - well, less so now because I've been working on reducing the negativity. What works for me is, whenever I get one of those negative thoughts e.g. "you won't be able to remember anything the next morning" I simply say to myself "I don't care". I use it like a mantra. i.e. I use it frequently. "I don't care". And it works. It makes me feel less anxious about the issue the negative thought is raising, which eventually actually enables me to " remember …... the next morning" . Results won't happen overnight. You will need practice using the mantra, but things should improve slowly over time.
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