Your Mental Black Magic!


20 Jan

Are You Sure Your Mind is Telling You The Truth? 

What do you see right now???  Look closely, what do you actually see? Are you sure of what you’re seeing? How can you make sure that it’s reality, not your brain playing its black magic on you?!  Ever thought that what you’re seeing is actually connected to what you’re thinking?

Let’s say you are driving your car, and here comes another car cutting the way almost hitting you, you got angry and upset that you started yelling and cursing. The question is, what came first?! Was it the yelling? or, was it the thought of yelling? If you can’t determine which, check this out!

The great physiologist ‘David Burns‘,  proposes his cognitive model which assumes that thoughts come right before the feelings and actions do. At that moment right there, is when your mind can play a little trick of black magic on you.

So, let’s find out the tricks your mind can play on you, keeping you stressed, depressed and locked in:

  1. Black and White Thinking:

Your mind is forcing you to see the whole world in a black and white view, all or none! Either you have it all, or you have nothing! This way of thinking almost keeps you stuck in a state of anger and hard feelings simply because you can’t admit that 50% is still a half way there! It’s the root of the perfectionism.

The thing is, a variety of colors is their, gray also exists and it’s okay to have it. Maybe the greatest solution to this trick is to always remind yourself with yin-yang, there is always black in each white, and white in each black, that’s life! Nothing is complete. Life is a spectrum of colors, so try to consider colors other than black and white.

  1. Over Generalization:

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It’s when you come to a rule based on a single event or experience. It’s like saying that all men are cheaters, or all women are bad drivers. Again, nothing in life is either complete nor general and applicable to all people and all situations!

  1. Mental Filtering:

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I remember that I’ve had hard time to discover happiness on daily basis. Why is that? Because my mind kept on playing a ‘mental filtering’ trick with me. Despite all the colors and events that come across my day, my mind only transmitted the events that were bad, suffocating or stressful. To the extent it became an accomplishment to find a single happy event during the whole day. After a lot of training to actually find happiness and not only the stuff my mind keeps focusing on, I started to enjoy life with all its colors and varieties. Allow yourself to be calm, and keep reminding yourself of all the good things that’d happened during the day without paying too much attention of your mind.

  1. Disqualifying The Positive:

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Once you find something good and focus on it, and you finally reach that happiness you needed during your day. At that moment, I congratulate you! You’ve just passed the mental filtering trick successfully. But there’s another bump in the way, the act of minimizing positivity! That It just wasn’t worth it. Probably, you also had given that great speech with a vast audience expressing how great you were, but you still see it as ‘it wasn’t that great!’. Your mind starts feeding you that it all was just a big compliment, not true! Sometimes this comes from the lack of self worth. But you need to appreciate every little positive thing in life, every positive thing YOU do.  These moments, are what makes life worth a while! 

  1. Jumping to Conclusions:

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Jumping to conclusions has two forms, First: Mind reading, you assume that you can read minds, one of your many superpowers! But let’s face it, it’s not true, unfortunately! It’s about assumptions you make with your mind keeping you stuck. Simply, your assumptions about what people think and do are not true. 

Second: Fortune telling, it’s like saying a prophecy or something that will happen in the future. once you assume something, allow yourself to think, is that assumption a fact?! and how did I know about it? These assumptions could be as follows: “I’ll fail the exam” “I will never change” “I will remain a loser my whole life.”, and so on.

Think again about what you are assuming, is it realistic? Is it true? Do you know what will the future bring? Do you read people’s minds to assume such things about them? When was the last time you realized that your assumptions were far away from reality?! That’s exactly how you deal with the black magic trick! 

  1. Labeling:

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The tendency to labeling yourself or the people around you. The trick here is that human beings are more of rivers than statues. When you label, you assume constancy, which is wrong most of the time. Humans change, humans shift from state to another, so when you label you give final judgment then immediately close the case. So, you stop seeing yourself or others from a different perspective . That’s how our minds work just to save energy. You categorize people, events and even yourself. Your brain saves the energy for growing extra knowledge about yourself and others.

  1. Should-ing and Must-ing:

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Your mind stress you with a list of shoulds and musts, you should do this and that, you must do it that way, that specific way! Who made it a must?! Well, that’s your own brain. Dig deep, whenever you get a must thought, think about why it’s a must? And if you failed to achieve your expectations, what would your reaction be? When others fail your expectations, what would you do? Are your expectations even realistic? What made them a MUST? Your brain, but it actually isn’t! 

Those were some of the tricks your mind plays on you when you’re feeling bad. They are named “cognitive errors” by Physiologists. They are forms of illogical thinking!

To confront these tricks and win against them, you need to recognize them in your own personal thoughts. And here comes the CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) model. You can download CBT journal application to help you train your mind.

First you need to notice and watch how your feelings arouse. Write down your thoughts or the thoughts that flew in your mind when you experienced those feelings. Then negotiate with them, and try to find out the cognitive error within these thoughts. Almost every negative feeling is a result of a cognitive error in your thinking. Change your thoughts with a truthful, more positive and logical ones. Now, notice the change in your mood and your mind, shifting towards a happier attitude and mindset.

Thank You for reading, stay tuned for more mind-blowing content! 😉

Samira Marassy