One of the most empowering, uplifting, and life-affirming things that anyone can do, is to take their fate into their own hands and to decide to transform their life, once they realise that things aren’t progressing in the right direction.
Of course, there are many things that can disrupt or sidetrack your attempts to transform your life for the better, not least of all the unhelpful stories you tell yourself about your situation.
It’s essential to get your mind on your side when striving to transform your life, whether that means undergoing hypnotherapy, or investigating a traditional psychological intervention such as CBT, through a practice like Bluesky Psychology.
Here, though, are a few basic psychological realities to keep in mind whenever you are aiming to transform your life.
We are all prone to cognitive distortions that can make things seem much more hopeless and stuck than they actually are
The basis of the highly successful and practical psychological therapy known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, is the understanding that the mind isn’t objective, and that we are all prone to cognitive distortions that can damage our sense of well-being, can prevent us from taking action, and can make things feel more hopeless and stuck than they actually are.
These cognitive distortions include things like the tendency to catastrophize, and to view a negative situation in your life as a sign of all-encompassing and insurmountable troubles.
Research the different cognitive distortions that exist, and keep in mind that your view of reality isn’t necessarily objective. Just acknowledging this can help to calm you down.
Mental change is often best accomplished through changing your actions, habits, and environment
It’s tempting to think that the best way to change your thoughts would be to “think different thoughts,” or to spend a lot of time in quiet introspection, figuring things out.
While challenging your own thought patterns, and practising introspection – such as by journalling – can certainly be very helpful, though, it often doesn’t get the job done alone.
In many cases, mental change is often best accomplished through changing your actions, habits, and environment. In other words, features of your life that seem quite solidly “external.”
It’s well known, for example, that the best way to overcome phobias is to confront them head-on, in a gradual and controlled way. Not to think about them all the time.
Conversation – including with yourself – can often help you to get to the bottom of things in a very insightful way
Here’s where positive introspection kicks in, and can be very helpful, in a sense.
While sitting around and ruminating over your negative experiences and thoughts is unlikely to do you any good, what often can do you a lot of good is engaging in conversation, both with other trusted individuals and also with yourself.
Perhaps the best way to do this is by journaling – as it helps you to express, question, and circle around your thoughts and beliefs, and to review what you’ve written earlier on, therefore helping you to approach your thoughts and feelings from new angles over time.