Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Cognitive Distortion--# Magnification and # Minimization

Life would be so much easier if we perceived reality in its' true colors without weighing it down with our insecurities,biases or prejudices.In this way,we even color a normal change with dreadful overtones or magnify the gravity of a problem and invite unnecessary anxiety.


Or we exaggerate our flaws and minimize our capabilities;thus laying a perfect pitch for tension and despondence.That is not all,sometimes we even overestimate others' skills and overlook their weaknesses;placing ourselves many rungs below them.

This is known as Maximization and Minimization.We blow our problems out of all proportions and minimize the positive aspects of our lives.A related distortion is catastrophization,in which we apprehend the worst possible outcome of any situation.A tiny blob on the horizon is taken as a sign of doom.

The ill-effects of these distortions are many.They kill our confidence and we envisage failure even before we have given the task a good try.This not only thwarts success but also further aggravates low self esteem.All this results in a host of negative emotions which are the root cause of depression and anxiety.

We all commit the mistake of magnifying the gravity of a problem sometimes,but it is best to shake off this habit before it takes firm roots.You can do this by being more mindful of your thoughts.Start by being vigilant of the thoughts which make you anxious.Write them down and at the end of the day and evaluate their sagacity.You can also cross-check your judgements with someone whom you hold in high esteem.

Next,try to decipher the hangups which propelled those ideas,why you think the way you do.Perhaps you were belittled by your parent or an older sibling and this has matured into a conviction that you are weak and incompetent.Or a recent setback has made you nervous and apprehensive.

Getting rid of such distortions requires practise and patience.The moment you recognise a thought as being inaccurate,replace it with a more logical one.This will make you more confident and proactive.You will successfully meet challenges and not shirk them.You will realize your full potential and find greater happiness too.

19 comments :

  1. True, Indu. We often do this mistake. The consequences are harmful. Good post.

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  2. I am good at the theory part though not great practically Indu hi hi.... So here goes... If you place a stone very close to your eye you will see only the stone :D

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    1. You are a wise girl Jaishree,thanx for this.
      Love.

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  3. Good advice, Indu. This entire series is such a useful resource.

    I had recently blogged about mindfulness to arrest the train of thoughts that constantly go on in our minds even when we are not consciously thinking. It helps to arrest them by being aware of the thoughts, which often prove draining and useless.

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    1. Thank you Zephyr,you are so kind.
      It is true,mindfulness helps to delete obsessive thoughts.

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  4. A pre occupation in something constructive always helps in obviating these situations!

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    1. True,activity negates irrational thinking.

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  5. Extremely informative post. Many points you have mentioned are relevant in our day to day lives. It is extremely important to be realistic about the world around us, and also about oneself.
    Just wanted to ask you, if syndromes like "persecution complex" basically stem out of this distorted view of the reality around us?

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    1. First of all,thank you for coming over.
      As far as persecution complex is concerned,it is predominantly related to schizophrenia.Genes,past history or anomalies in the brain chemistry might be responsible for it.In its nascent stage it is similar to 'personalization' about which I am going to write next.

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  6. Replies
    1. Persistence and patience will get you there my dear.

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  7. Most of the people do it and make their own life miserable

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    1. Strange,how we create our own sorrows.

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  8. I totally agree with your point. I also suffer from such negative thoughts, and I do try my best to see them in a positive way, but sometimes the negativity of the situation really overwhelms me. However, I do get over it, telling myself, that the main culprit is our mind which is always throwing negativity, which can only imagine the worst situations in life, and we fall prey to its whims and fancies, and in the end our subconscious mind picks up the signal and make the very negatives things to happen in our lives. If we can control our mind we would always be very happy and peaceful.
    Sometimes, we can't blame ourselves too, for after all we are human beings, and we do slip, but we also learn from our experiences and become wiser the next time.

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    1. A very wholesome input Rama.Seeing through our minds working is the key.
      Thanks a lot.

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  9. we also learn from our experiences and become wiser the next time.

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