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Altering Dysfunctional Thinking and Beliefs

Updated on February 3, 2017

Wondering why we do what we do? Anxious before engaging in situations for the outcome is uncertain and maybe shameful? Feel defeated even before you started?, or tried so hard, yet you never succeed?? Well then, Hello!!

Here's an interesting article that could help you gain better control of your life irrespective of the situations you encounter. The article will contribute to getting your mind back on track by altering the outcome of situations you engage in by increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of your hard efforts! I agree hard work always pays off, but no amount of hard work will change the outcome of the situation if the initial impression on the situation was negative!

So Why do we Struggle?

Well, this is why.. We think and so we feel, we feel and so we do. The consequence of how we feel reflects and formulates our behavioral patterns when we engage in action. It is not possible to change the situation, but it is possible to change our perception towards the situation which in turn would alter the outcome.

It is necessary when faced with a situation at hand, we perceive the situation in its true form based on its reality. Only after one has accepted the situation in its true form based on reality, can one alter the outcome of the situation. For example, when approaching exams, one needs to first understand the situation clearly and accept it. The reality sense of an exam is based on assessing one’s performance and not on competing in rank.

Hence, the simplistic answer as to why we struggle so hard and never bear the fruit of our hard work and dedication is cause we fail to perceive the situation for what the situation truly is!

An exam is not a competition, rather an assessment.

To Think Positive is to Be Positive

The idea that changing one’s thoughts can change one’s reality is a cornerstone of Buddha’s philosophy. “Your states (of existence) originate in your mind. Mind is their chief, and they are created by the mind. If you speak with a pure mind, you will influence pure actions.

The outcomes of engaging into a situation all depend on how the situation was perceivedWe can’t change the situation we are in, but we can change the outcome of the situation we engage in depending on how we chose to perceive it. However we perceive the situation, it will influence our attitude towards it and our attitude is what shapes and directs out behavior.

If we tap into positive feelings, the Universe too supports us by showering us with positive energy of confidence and peace. But, when we work with fear and stress we work against the positive energy forces of the Universe. Hence, if we let the emotions of tension and stress grip our minds, the behavior influencing the situation will be tensed and the outcome would be a tensed and stressed out one.

A little stress termed as eu-stress is good as it kicks in a 'fight mode drive' as a consequent to an adrenaline rush, but stress that is negative, as in that is too much for the body to handle is termed as distress which ultimately decreases the optimum level of functioning causing a state of burnout.

Firstly..Conquer your Mind!

'Mind, Body and Soul'..You control you mind and you control your body. You listen to your soul through an intuitive insight and you shape your mind!

Focusing on healthy beliefs will influence healthy attitudes, hence it is necessary to counter irrational beliefs and alter them. Our irrational beliefs are very often a consequence to our past experiences and our environment. We should always be conscious of what we feel and think and only then can we control the outcome when engaging in a situation. At times we let our minds think on grounds of biases, prejudices and false beliefs. Drawing initial judgements on such a basis will ultimately uncover an outcome in context to the initial thought or feeling.

The A-B-C-D model is a practical mechanism to alter one’s mindset from irrational beliefs to rational beliefs based on reality. This self help tool helps distort irrational thinking by bringing in rational reasoning and thinking based on reality. To be successful in life, one needs to gain power of the mind and not succumb to it.

Once an event triggers anxiety or stress it needs to be viewed from a rational point of view and not based on one's irrational belief system. Usually one's belief system is influenced by past experiences or through media which generally represses such irrational thoughts until triggered by a situation. So when a situation triggers negative feelings, one needs to view and understand whether is the belief based on an irrational thinking or rational thinking level. If the consequent belief towards the situation is bringing in negative thoughts and feelings, then a level of rational thinking needs to be engaged in to counter the irrational belief before negative behaviors are projected by the body, for we think and so we feel, we feel and so we do. This would be the phase of disputing the irrational thought process with a rational thought. Once this is done, an evaluation needs to be done in view of the situation. If the outcome of the evaluation is still causing guilt or an anxiety feeling then one may need to again try disputing the thought process if its really viewed as an irrational one.

The process:

A- Activating event:

B- Belief: If irrational then proceed

C- Consequence: The belief leads to unhealthy feelings as a consequence

D- Disputing: start to dispute the irrational thought with rational thinking

E- Evaluation: Start to evaluate the feeling after disputing it with rational thinking

F- New feeling : This would be the consequent if the irrational thinking was disputed with a rational one


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    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Great tips-- the power of the mind, the power of belief, these things are so important and people too often underestimate them. I've learned that disciplining my mind has helped me accomplish a lot of goals and improve my outlook and emotions. Nice hub, great tips.