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Irrational thought 9

Like replacing bad habits with good ones, your irrational thoughts must be replaced with more rational, helpful  ones. Hopefully you have identified those thoughts that tend to plague you.

Maybe even filled out the BELIEFS INVENTORY.

Because now we are going to take a closer look at each of those pesky irrational thoughts spelled out in What are You Thinking.

Irrational Belief #9:  

The idea that because at one time something strongly affected our life, it should  affect it forever

Okay, we can all relate to this one a little bit.  Have you ever said “I’ll never get over this!” or “I’ll never forgive them for this!”

We all suffer hurts, disappointments, losses that feel like they will be with us forever.  In that painful moment it is easy for us to over-estimate the devastation.

But, we don’t have to believe what our irrational brain and bruised feelings tell us.

Rational Thought: I can handle this.

You are not a prisoner to your past!  While you can’t change the past, you can learn from it and change yourself.

In fact, there is evidence to suggest that we can use traumatic events to trigger enormous personal growth.  This phenomena, called Post Traumatic Growth, is the opposite of the better known PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Trauma does not automatically equal negative outcomes! Religion and philosophy are way ahead of psychology on this one – there is a long tradition of equating human suffering with growth in both our spiritual and philosophical literature.  Psychology is catching up though.  You can learn more about Post Traumatic Growth in this terrific article at Psychiatric Times.

Our past only haunts us until we DEAL with it. And, it’s never too late to dump the baggage we carry from traumatic experiences.  You CAN move forward.  You CAN learn to be free. And you CAN be better for the experience.

Countering Irrational Beliefs 9: Here’s a handy little printable worksheet to help you discover new responses to the pain and losses in life.  Try it out.  You CAN change how you think.  And that WILL change how you feel and how you act.

Next up: Irrational Belief #10 – Have you ever heard someone say “I can’t help it – it’s just how I feel”?  Well, that’s what we’ll be talking about in our last look at irrational beliefs.  Don’t miss it!