Updated: Feb 25
Beliefs drive behavior. Rationalizations, denial, excuses and blaming are mechanisms we use to avoid change.
Do you frequently feel "stuck in a rut?" If you look around and your life is not where you want it to be, you may be using cognitive distortions to avoid change. Resistance to change is frustrating but it can also be comfortable. We frequently use it as a mechanism to avoid change and maintain a sense of homeostasis or steady state because it is comfortable. Even if we are unhappy with our current situation, "fear of change" often keeps us stuck.
My grandmother's favorite comment to my mother was always "you are about to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire." This idiom implies that "change" may actually make a situation worse. This also serves as a logical fallacy. We stay "stuck" in a situation because "stuck" feels safe. Our brains are programmed to keep doing the same things over and over. Just like behavior, the thoughts that we think have their own neurological pathways in our brain and work on a loop. " A negative thought loop is mentally replaying and reviewing the same thoughts over and over. Negative thought loops will drain emotional and physical energy as well as create negative mental pictures which program your mind to their fulfillment "(Symbiosis Coaching 13).
If you think it, you will believe it and eventually those beliefs will become a reality. For example, if you worry and obsess about getting sick, eventually all that worry will result in illness. Fortunately, the brain is a very malleable organ and we can retrain it for "change." We don't have to stay stuck in the same behaviors, negative thoughts or rut.
A Recipe for change: Wellness Awareness Exercise
Recognize your negative thought loops: For example: Are you constantly telling yourself you look fat?
Make a list of negative thoughts and note how often they occur during the day.
Write a list of positive thoughts or affirmations to replace your negative thoughts.
When you notice a negative thought loop immediately replace it with a positive thought and action.
Recognize that some things cannot be changed ( for example: the actions of others).
Put your focus and energy on changing the things you can.
Express gratitude daily (Symbiosis Coaching 14).