Cognitive Reconstruction… Reprogramming Our Thoughts

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We often hear a voice inside our minds that criticizes and judges us and is the main cause of many of our anxieties, as well as, evoking other illnesses. This inner critic, the negative self-talks, continue to haunt us with hateful and critical words and affect our thinking patterns. There are several different thinking patterns:

• Black/White Thinking - it’s all or nothing

• Defeatist Thinking - why bother, it will never happen

• Negative Thinking - focusing on THE one negative comment

• Problem Obsessing - obsessing over all problems • Positive Minimizing - minimizing own attributes • Predictive Thinking - assuming what the outcome will be

• Feelings=Reality - the way some one feels may be only his/her reality

• Should/Shouldn’t - do what others expect from you, not what you want

• Labeling - name calling

• Self-Blame - always blaming oneself

• Fear-Based Thinking - “what if?’

• Overly-Defensive thinking - reasoning and blaming others for one’s action

According to Jon Kabbat-Zinn, our physical health IS connected to the way we think and feel about ourselves;

“Thoughts and beliefs that foster hopeless and helpless feelings; a sense of loss of control; hostility and cynicism toward others; a lack of commitment and enthusiasm about life’s challenges; an inability to express feelings; and social isolation appear to be particularly toxic.”

These patterns affect our emotions, self-esteem, behavior and well-being. If negative emotional conditions negatively affect our body physiologically and positive emotional conditions positively affect our body physiologically, then we can assume that negative thoughts affect our mind and body negatively and therefore, positive thoughts can affect our mind and body positively.

This ability to convert our negative thinking pattern into positive ones is done through Cognitive Restructuring. If we build a structure and someone added too much cement on one side or neglected to center important structural beams, the structure may go askew and may not be stable. The human mind is similar. If a parent, caregiver or educator criticized a child often or neglected to instill love, respect and encouragement, that child will also grow to be somewhat unstable.

The truth is, we can always rebuild lopsided structures and our distorted cognition. To understand our ability to restructure our thoughts, we need to understand basic physics.

Please message/email me for information regarding restructuring on the atomical level as well as on the physio-biological level.

Steps of Cognitive Restructuring:

1. Become aware of one’s negative thoughts.

2. Become aware of the pain-body sense that arises in association with that negative thought.

3. Remember those inner critical thoughts

4. Stop it with a positive thoughts

5. Create positive self-talk as a new mantra or as a new affirmation

6. Create balance and positive thoughts through rhythmic movements, music, art, journaling, meditation and breathing.

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The more you hear

…and consciously acknowledge these truths about yourself, the more the old irrational thoughts and beliefs will lose power and eventually recede into the distant background of your mind.

Repeating the mantra helps engrave that thought, stores it in our cortex, the memory part of the brain, and uses it when we feel anxious about an anxiety-inducing event.

In every aspect in our lives, from the atomical level, physical level, emotional level, and spiritual level, the concept of connectivity and rhythm between polar opposites embodies us. Energies that are in constant circulation, from top to bottom, regenerate themselves.

When anxiety arises, we need to remind ourselves “this too shall pass.” Positive thoughts need to balance our negative thoughts. We need to redirect our minds to remember that in reality, life is cyclic, life is rhythmic, and life is continuous.


Susan Greif (www.ArtMendsHearts.com) is a Creative Transformational Expert and Healing Arts Professional who uses the expressive, creative and healing arts to help women and children find emotional freedom from anxieties that kept them feeling paralyzed, panicked and in pain. Her clients learn how to let go of anxiety, depression, trauma, abuse, relationship issues, eating disorders and learning disabilities. Contact her at artmendshearts@gmail.com


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