Mindtraps: Anxiety & Depression

mindtraps, anxiety , depression


We “ALL” fall victim to mindtraps (unconscious thinking patterns), that we are not always are of. These patterns can be very unhealthy for our self-esteem and for our relationships. Here are two common examples with some techniques help to stop them.

LABELLING AND MISLABELLING” consists of us naming, rather than describing, a specific behavior. We assign a label to someone, or to ourselves, that puts them or us in an absolute and irreversible negative view. Example, “he is such an incompetent fool!” This is a label, not a description of a specific behavior, and a behavior does not necessarily mean someone is a fool.

Some questions that tend to work for my clients are the following:

      1. What could be a different way of looking at this?”

      2. Is there a more positive way of looking at this?”

      3. Finally, when you recognize you are labeling or being labeled, ask, “How specifically?” Example: “How specifically am I a jerk?” – which will suggest behaviors, rather than identity. In other words, just because I made a mistake doesn’t mean I am incompetent!

anxiety & depression

Have you ever caught yourself feeling personally responsible for an event that isn’t entirely under your control, and then blaming yourself on top of everything? This is a tendency known as “PERSONALIZATION & BLAME”. This tendency is particularly dangerous as it can lead extreme levels of guilt, shame, low self-esteem and potentially depression.

Take the following as an example: “My son is doing poorly in school. It’s all my fault, I must be a bad mother”.

To beat this tendency, ask:

      1. How do you know [I am to blame]? “SAYS WHO?”

      2. Who/what else is involved in this problem?”

      3. Realistically, how much of this problem is actually my responsibility?”.

      4.  If there was no blame involved here, what would be left for me/us to look at?

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