Ways Our Brains Can Trick Us by Psychic Heather

Published Date 8/17/2015
Category: Life, Destiny & Meaning

Your brain may be playing tricks on you!

Author's Photo by Heather x7756
I generally tell my clients to “trust your intuition” and I think this is good advice. But, I also warn people to be aware of faulty thinking patterns, known as Cognitive Distortions, which can skew feelings and intuition. I will list some of the most common thinking errors as defined by Cognitive Therapist, Aaron Beck. 

This occurs when negative details are magnified in the mind and positive details are ignored.  An example would be "My husband seemed irritable this morning because he didn't say good-bye to me before leaving for work" while ignoring that he did other things before leaving that were more positive, such as bringing me coffee. 

Black/White or Polarized Thinking
Everything is either all good or all bad, there is no in between. We often do this when judging ourselves or others with use of words such as “always” and “never” which are rarely accurate.  For example, saying "I always fail to complete my goals" or "I never accomplish anything." These are internal messages that are healthy to avoid. 

One negative incident can lead to conclusions that are over-generalized. If you find yourself in a fender bender, for instance, and the conclusion is that I ALWAYS wreck every car I get in.  Again, avoid the use of the words “always” and “never.” 

Jumping to Conclusions
Without individuals saying so, we know what they are feeling and why they act the way they do. In particular, we are able to determine how people are feeling toward us. It is extremely difficult to avoid this. We assume we know motivation and intent of others when we can't possibly know everything that is going on in someone else's life or mind. 

As an example, a co-worker who usually stops to chat with you in the morning when she gets her mid-morning coffee, just walks past without even a mention.  “I wonder why she’s ignoring me.  Is she mad at me? Was it that thing I said in the meeting yesterday?”  Turns out she just got off the phone with the school and found out her child is sick and she’s distracted trying to figure out what to do.  It had nothing to do with you or what you said in a meeting, but you jumped ahead and assumed it did.  (PS. You are relieved to learn she was never mad at you and by the next day, everything was back to normal, and her child feels better too!)

We expect the worst, often referred to as maximizing or minimizing. I think of this as the “What If…” thoughts.  Such as, “What if my business doesn't do well this month??? I won't be able to pay the bills.  I’ll be kicked out of my house and I’ll be forced to live on the street!" These type thoughts are not helpful. They just cause anxiety and lead away from solution focused thinking. 

This happens when we assume responsibility for things beyond our control. Whenever you find yourself saying "I caused this (bad thing) to happen,” you are personalizing it to be about you. This thinking error is used commonly with superstitious thinking. 

Like the words “always” and “never,” becoming aware of these words can lead to healthier thinking patterns. I often tell myself I “should” do this or I “must” make sure I that. But when I challenge this thought, I often come up with alternative solutions. 

We hold others responsible for how we feel. Remember, no one can “make” you feel anything. 

For a more complete list of cognitive distortions, please refer to this article by Dr. John M. Grohol on the subject.

If these behaviors seem familiar and you’d like to discuss them further with a caring psychic, you can always reach out to me at extension x7756 or any of the other advisors waiting for you at Psychic Source. 

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