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Mental Traps To Be Aware Of!

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Human Cognition is a complex, mysterious as well as an intriguing area of study. But this area of Human Cognition is not just for academicians and psychologists. Each and everyone should have the knowledge of Human Cognition to some extent at least. This is necessary mainly for us to function better. Here you will read about the Mental traps that even our high functioning cognition cannot escape. 

“Humans are Cognitive Misters.” 

-Daniel Kanheman

Till date, we as humans have consistently supported this claim of Kanheman about humans.

This article draws inspiration from the work of Anna Borges. Anna is a writer, podcast host, health editor and an advocate of mental health.  As she beautifully pens down self-care tips in her latest book ‘The More or Less Definitive Guide to Self-Care’. She has talked about those traps of the brain that stop you from reaching success.

Mental Traps in Anna Borges Book

The function of The Brain

Our Brains are complex. The body may sleep but the brain never sleeps. Our brain makes sense of the world we see, processes the emotions we feel and the actions that we indulge in. However, the judgments made by the brain are not always correct. Sometimes the brain becomes the prey of what is called Cognitive Distortions.

Cognitive Distortions leading to Mental Traps

What are Cognitive Distortions? 

Cognitive Distortions are those of our irrational or exaggerated thought patterns. In simple terms, Cognitive Distortions are certain conclusions that we jump to or certain “musts” that we feel should happen.

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Raise your hand if you engage in mental short cuts and cognitive distortions. ✋🏻 * * Cognitive distortions are irrational logic in our thinking that we have simply accepted as our truth-and they come in many forms. My favorite (automatic) form is catastrophic thinking. * * Catastrophic thinking is when we ruminate about irrational worst case scenarios. Keep in mind many of these fears can be based on witnessed events, stories told by others. It becomes catastrophic and irrational when we allow ourselves to go down the rabbit hole of illogical thoughts, resulting in increased anxiety, panic, and feelings of being “stuck.” * ❗️For example: My family was supposed to be home 10 minutes ago. I keep calling. No one is picking up. They must have gotten into an accident or something bad has happened. This ⬆️ is a very common one. It feels silly to some, but to others it can cause a spiral into panic. * * Ways to combat catastrophic thinking and all cognitive distortions: ✔️Create your own CBT thought record. ✔️Learn to recognizing the thought distortion. ✔️Separate your thoughts and your feelings. ✔️Challenge it (where is this coming from for you). ✔️Creating rational counter statements. * * It can feel odd as a practice, but I promise with repetition you will find yourself reframing and restructuring with little to no prompts. #cognitivedistortions #cbttherapy #catastrophe #mentalhealth

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These Cognitive Distortions are the reason why we don’t see the reality as it is. This is one of the reasons why realities are said to be constructed and subjective.

Some people are more successful than others because they have identified the harms of these distortions. They know that these exist and these should be avoided.

Most Common Mental Traps

Mental Trap of Emotional Reasoning

Keeping emotions over facts while decision making. A typical example of this would be “I feel that bad things only happen with me. Therefore, I will mess up in my presentations.”

While making this conclusion, one often ignore all those times when they have made a good presentation. In reality, the good ones are bound to be more than the bad ones. However, the distortions don’t let one realize this.

To combat this, one should search for facts that support their conclusion. The irrational thought will be highlighted as a result of insufficient evidence.

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How often do you believe your feelings? – Like really believe in the feeling? VS. The Emotional Reasoning that comes with it? – Emotions are signals, the mental chatter that sometimes accompanies them is not. 💭 – Emotions often times start the process of thoughts that lead us to believe our emotion is justified. – For example jealousy could lead us to believe so many different scenarios or situations. Often times about others and not ourselves. – However, what if we took a step back before the mind took over with Emotional Reasoning and really looked at this with clarity. – This emotion of jealousy could also mean "I feel low self worth", "I've been feeling less confident lately", or "I'm feeling afraid you will reject/leave me." – So believe emotions when they send their signal, and remember, it may take a deeper look into yourself then what you initially think. – Also, don't always believe the "stories" your mind creates, open up, seek deeper, discuss openly with a partner. – Do you let your emotions reason for you? We've all probably been there. 🤬 – Learning to recognize your own Emotional Reasoning is so important to learning emotional regularity, which leads to more joyful and satisfying relationships! – Tag someone or leave a comment if this was helpful. 🙏 . . 💓ԹӀɑվ ҽղժӀҽՏՏӀվ.💓 . . . #ThePlayBoxLa #PlayEndlessly #Love #Emotional #Relationships #Pleasure #Mindful #EmotionalReasoning #Aware #EmotionalControl #Love #Beautiful #MentalHealth #Relationships #RelationshipEducation  #IncreasePleasure #MustKnow #RelationshipGoals #MindfullyLive #Intimacy #Connection #Emotions #Emotion #ExploreYourself  #LetThePlayBegin #Wellness #subscriptionBox #CoupleEntrepreneurs #LosAngeles #SelfLove

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It is useful to understand what your thinking style you have in particular which ones are unhelpful to you. Some people have one style that dominates and some people have a mixture. Three thinking styles that often seem to be used at the same time are: Catastrophising, making mountains out of molehills and emotional reasoning. People who catastrophe imagine and believe that the worst possible thing will happen. Making mountains out of molehills is an exaggeration of danger or negatives and emotional reasoning is where the person tells themselves that because they feel bad or anxious they might be in danger. If you can identify your unhelpful thinking styles you can start to challenge them. #therapy #thinkingstyles #catastrophising #mountainsoutofmolehills #emotionalreasoning #exaggeration #negatives #anxiety #unhelpfulthinking #perception #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #counselling

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Blaming as a Mental Trap

I don’t think this distortions needs any explanation. Anything bad that happens we look for something or someone to blame it on. Though this might take the responsibility off our shoulders, it does not help in the long run. One eventually gets accustomed to hold others responsible for their actions and feelings. Thus, they loose the right view of reality.

Catastrophization

The commonly occurring tendency to believe that a disaster is about to happen with oneself.

An example of this would be when looking at a news telecast of robbery and housebreak, one starts to think, “What if my house is on target?”, “My house is surely the next one to be robbed.”

These kind of conclusions only increase far. They are far from being useful for anyone.

Fallacy of Fairness

Thinking that all situations must work according to the laws of fairness. It is a bitter truth that Life is not always fair. In such a case, when things do not follow a fair path, they result in anger, resentment or hopelessness.

Example: You getting less marks in a group assignment than others. In this case you usually think that, “How can others get more marks when I was the one who worked harder?”

It is necessary that one realizes that one cannot have the control over situations always. But maybe things can be made better by discussing with those in control of situations.

Personalization as a Mental Trap

Personalization refers to the act of taking everything personally. It is a form of blaming directed towards the self. However, there is no logic that supports this act.

Example: “The event organized by my team didn’t go well. It was all my fault. I should have worked harder.”

Such kind of Personalizations can lead to shame, guilt and a feeling of being inadequate.

Words of Worth

Resorting to all these distortions is easy but breaking free from them is hard. Your life is ultimately what you think of it to be. So stop distorting and start living!

Here are a few words that can help…….

Mental Health and Well-Being are very important. To know more about your emotions, maintaining your Mental Well-Being and more about lifestyle only on Little Letters Linked.

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3 Comments

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Lifestyle

How To Stay Productive During Lockdown

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COVID-19 has pinned the whole world down to their beds. No one is allowed to leave their houses and go to public places and run their errands which will risk their lives. But still we cannot let COVID get the best of us. It is important that we stay productive and positive during these tough months.

 

Sharpen your existing skills

Nine Ways to Sharpen Your Skill Set (Three are Free!) - JWU Online

via- JWU Online

This home isolation can be the best time to sharpen your existing skills. If you like cook, look up some recipes online and keep trying. If you like to write like I do, write your heart out because you will simply not get a better time to do so. Similarly, keep on adding more and more experience to your already existing skills. Thanks to the abundant online resources which are readily available to us.

 

Create an office like environment

Create an office like environment to make work from home effective ...

via- Laughing Colours

Our mind works in a strange way. When at home, it declines to work harder and instructs our body to relax a little too much than needed for being productive. The best way to handle this situation is to create an office-like environment near your workstation at home. Choose a peaceful corner or room and simulate it with an office cubicle. This works like a charm for online meetings and classes.

 

Monitor your screen time

Productive

via- NDTV gadgets productive

 

In this era of internet and universal connectivity, we spend a lot of our spare time on electronic screens, like mobiles, tablets, and computers. Home isolation has worsened this obsession to the level where it interrupts our sleep. Thus, keep a tab on your screen time and get a sound sleep for improved productivity.

 

Exercise, Exercise, Exercise

Productive

via- The New York Times

Only a healthy body can incorporate a healthy mind. To keep yourself attentive and boredom free, it is important that you work out on a regular basis. Meditation, Yoga, cardio, or dance, try whatever suits you to be active and healthy during the lockdown. You can use a fitness app also that will keep you alarmed about your unhealthy lifestyle and will help rewire your thoughts.

 

Read a book!

Productive

via- Inc

So this one should be pretty obvious. Almost every significant individual, may it be a businessman or someone in the creative field. Everyone has recommended to read almost one book once a week. Books don’t just expand your knowledge. They also better your understanding and control over a language. Most Importantly, It adds a lot to your personality. If you don’t believe us. Read one book per week for 3-4 months. And then self-asses your personality. You will be shocked by the results.

 

Organize your wardrobe 

Productive

via- Laundrapp

Most of us have at least one dress that we know we’ll never wear again. Or a pair of jeans that just don’t fit the way they used to. It’s time to declutter your wardrobe and get rid of those sad pieces that no longer see the light of day. Either pass them onto friends and family, donate them to charity or at the very least, find your nearest clothing bank and recycle.

 

 

Make a bucket list

Productive

via- Medium

Think positive and look ahead to sunnier days by making a bucket list. Rather than wallowing in your pyjamas for the fifth day in a row (we’ve all been there) change your outlook and reflect on all of the things you’ll be able to do once lockdown restrictions are lifted. Looking to travel more? These scratch-off maps are perfect for planning your next adventure post COVID-19.

Also Read – Hygiene Tips For Covid-19

Also watch this video to know more tips- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEqjsiyJJ5g

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Lifestyle

Life Lessons From The Mastermind Of Da Vinci

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Saying Leonardo Da Vinci was way ahead of his time seems almost a cliche. His infinite curiosity, paired with his instinct to merge art and science, helped him create some of the world’s most impactful works. Da Vinci was the true definition of a- Renaissance man. Being a painter, architect, inventor, and student of scientific knowledge, he was an all-rounder.

Leonardo’s relentless curiosity and experimentation should remind us of the importance of instilling not just received knowledge but a willingness to question it and above all, to be imaginative. 

Da Vinci was a self-taught kid. He didn’t go to school because he was born out of wedlock and among the things he loved was the Arno river. He was fascinated by the spirals the river formed while flowing. Vinci studied those, and from his childhood to his deathbed, he was still drawing the spiral forms and trying to figure out the math behind them. There’s just so much to learn from him. Some of the life lessons he can give us are-

Observe Your Surroundings

Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci observed and studied human anatomy to make his art more realistic. Dedication level 100!

Leonardo’s greatest skill was his acute ability to observe things. Nothing was commonplace to Leonardo. He sketched over 500 drawings of flowing water. He was willing to look deeply and not assume that he knew how something worked. It was the talent that empowered his curiosity. It was not some magical gift but a product of his own effort. He often looked at the four-winged dragonflies and noticed how the wing pairs alternate in motion. When he walked around town, he observed how the facial expressions of people relate to their emotions. He discerned how light bounces off different surfaces.

Be Unapologetically Curious

Curiosity led him to develop new interests

Leonardo actually did have special talents, as did Einstein or Newton, but his distinguishing and most inspiring trait was his intense curiosity. He wanted to know what causes people to yawn, how they walk on ice in Flanders, what makes the aortic valve close, how light is processed in the eye, and what that means for the perspective in a painting. Being relentlessly and randomly curious about everything around us is something that each of us can push ourselves to do, every waking hour, just as he did.

Dare To Be Multi-dimensional 

The multifaceted life of Da Vinci

Leonardo was a weapons designer and a map builder. He was a painter, draftsman, hydraulic engineer, and inventor. He was also an early impresario, arranging coronations and royal weddings. How might we develop broadly? What other interests and talents might we explore? Da Vinci was an anatomist, architect, botanist, city planner, chef, humorist, engineer, equestrian, inventor, geographer, geologist, military scientist, musician, painter, philosopher and much more.

Make To-Do Lists 

The daring To-Do list of Da Vinci

Most people’s to-do lists are, almost by definition, pretty dull, filled with those mundane little tasks that tend to slip out of our minds.  Da Vinci would carry around a notebook, where he would write and draw anything that moved him. “It is useful,” Leonardo once wrote, to “constantly observe, note, and consider.” Buried in one of these books, dating back to around the 1490s, is a to-do list. It’s so cool to have his notebooks because we have more than 7,200 pages that are still existent of his notebooks.

 

Be Open To Mystery

Da Vinci is said to have used a mathematical concept of the Fibonacci sequence to create his masterpiece.

One day Leonardo put “Describe the tongue of the woodpecker” on one of his eclectic and oddly inspiring to-do lists. The tongue of a woodpecker can extend more than three times the length of its bill. When not in use, it retracts into the skull and its cartilage-like structure continues past the jaw to wrap around the bird’s head and then curve down to its nostrils. When the bird smashes its beak repeatedly into tree bark, the force exerted on its head is 10 times what would kill a human. But it’s tongue acts as a cushion, shielding the brain from shock. There is no reason you actually need to know any of this. It is information that has no real utility for your life, just as it had none for Leonardo.

Collaborate

Leonardo’s collaboration with artist Verrocchio

Genius is often considered the purview of loners who retreat to their garrets and are struck by creative lightning. Like many myths, that of the lone genius has some truth to it. But there’s usually more to the story. The paintings from Leonardo’s studio were created in such a collaborative manner that it is hard to tell whose hand made which strokes. And his most fun work came from collaborations on theatrical productions and evening entertainments at court. Genius starts with individual brilliance. But executing it often entails working with others.

Create For Yourself

The making of Mona Lisa

No matter how hard the rich and powerful Marchesa Isabella d’Este begged, Leonardo would not paint her portrait. But he did begin one of a silk merchant’s wife named Lisa. He did it because he wanted to, and he kept working on it for the rest of his life, never delivering it to the silk merchant.

The life of Da Vinci is certainly worth studying. His amazing adventures are sure to pique anyone’s curiosity. Da Vinci’s mind was well beyond his era. Even today we try to learn more and more about him, simply because he never ceases to amaze us! We’ll never emulate Einstein’s mathematical ability. But we can all try to learn from, and copy, Leonardo’s curiosity. Also read- Rewire Your Brain For Success!

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Lifestyle

5 Things To Do When You Feel Lonely

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5 things to do when you feel lonely

There are some days in our lives when we feel lonely even when we are surrounded by people. The human mind is bizarre as it influences imaginations that we know would never be realised. In our mind, the loneliness prevails and affects how we feel around people. Even with the assurance and support of friends, family and psychologists, the loneliness never separates from ourself.

In such circumstances, it is US, the sufferers, the ones that feel lonely, who can undo the impact. When loneliness starts taking a toll over us, it is us who have to overcome and battle with that loneliness until it is defeated. Life is an unseen trailer of a movie of which you have seen just 10 minutes.

STOP Inflicting Harm On Yourself

No self harm

Do you often victimise yourself for some imaginary situation or just because you feel lonely? Okay, first of all, start by appreciating yourself. Even if standing in front of a mirror haunts you, do that! Look at yourself from top to bottom. The first thing that you would see is going to be your faults because you have made that perception of yourself in your mind. Focus on that one thing in your body that you love the most. It could be your eyes, or your well-shaped eyebrows or even a mole on your chin. This process will undo, little by little, the mental harm that you have wreaked onto yourself.

START Doing What You Love

Do what you love

It can be a simple activity like singing, dancing, painting or photography. There is nothing better than a hobbyhorse to make yourself feel less lonely. If these activities seem overdone, try learning a craft from your mother or father: it could be simple needlework or learning how to drive. It is neither unproductive nor is it a sheer waste of time. It is all about putting your time on what makes you feel grounded.

HELP Someone Who Seeks Help

Help someone

You may have heard the adage that says « Kaun Kiske Aansu Ponchega Jab Sabke Rumaal Gheele Hain », but sometimes helping someone in need makes you realise that there are lonelier people than you, who may or may not be surrounded by many people. Visiting an NGO or Old Age Home and doing a good deed by spending time with them and making them feel like your home will stir a reversal of the feelings of loneliness. This is also a practice to make yourself feel grounded and protected.

BEFRIEND A Non-Human Friend

Befriend a non-human

Sometimes conversations do not help, on the contrary, they seem to multiply anxiety. Sometimes just sitting next to someone means more than narrating how you feel. This non-human friend can be your pet, an all-time favourite movie, a comic strip, an old school chapter, a toy from infancy, an old music CD, PlayStation or just a simple walk into the lap of nature- befriend the ones that bring solace and serenity in your life.

TALK To Someone You Trust

Talk to someone that makes you feel less lonely

…And sometimes conversations are important. Talk to someone you genuinely trust, like a family member, a friend or even a psychiatrist. Give yourself a chance to feel a new emotion of emancipation from loneliness.

 

To read more about mental health, click here.

 

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