7 Ways to Make Yourself Miserable
HAPPY PUBLIC HOLIDAY MONDAY EVERYONE
(so, caffeine just kicked the fuck IN)
Firstly, this is a banger of an email. If there was ever an email I have written that gives you practical advice on how to change your behaviour for the better, this is it. I write these in the hope that they may help someone, even if it’s just to pass on a L.O.L. If you read this and think of anyone in your friend/family circle that could use such advice, please forward this email to them & ask them to subscribe.
I can guarantee you there is 48% less eye rolling from you all at ‘Happy Monday’ seeing as it is a public holiday.
BUT IF YOU ARE ENJOYING A PUBLIC HOLIDAY AT HOME YOU 100% CAN GET INTO THE GYM.
(and meal prep for the week)
I don’t believe your Monday attitude should change based on whether you must go to work or not
(if it does, maybe you should look for new work.)
But that’s all perspective & mind set, innit.
SPEAKING OF MINDSET – this week has proven to me that I am, in fact, the luckiest guy in the world.
It took some fucking turning around though, I’ll tell you that much.
But it was a great chance to implement some of the learnings that I have been gathering from the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy course that I’m currently studying.
(CBT is a form of psychotherapy, looking at the structure and process of one’s thought patterns)
The learnings that I have focused on implementing in my own life, so far, are cognitive distortions & cognitive enhancers.
Basically, cognitive distortion is our mind trying to convince us of something that isn’t true, in aid of reinforcing our negative thinking or emotions.
We create these rational & accurate sounding narratives all the time, bullshitting ourselves into not feeling bad about our shitty actions or decisions.
Take Thursday, for example,
Let me set the scene.
In bed at 9, alarm set for 4am (most days, ya boi be getting it)
Woke up at 2:30am, tooth on fire.
Had my last painkillers & got an ice pack.
Painkillers sedated the shit out of me, slept through alarms.
Woke up in a panic, groggy as shit.
Running out the house 5min behind schedule.
Get into car, car wont start,
Call uber to get to work.
Get to work, realise forgot all paper work & lunch at home.
(hahahahaha fkn ignite me)
Initial thought = ‘Today is fucked, the whole day is going to be a fkn shitshow.’
Take a second, breathe,
Question = ‘Is today really all over? Or is it just a bit of a hectic start that you can turn around?’ (Is this merely a cognitive distortion I have placed on my own mind?)
Answer = ‘Ok, the morning has been hectic, but that’s just the morning. Today isn’t fucked, it’s just a crazy start to overcome. Stop overgeneralising the situation & get on with making a better day.’
Previous times I am sure I would have let the initial 2 hours of madness dictate the rest of my Thursday, convincing myself the whole day is ruined.
By questioning my own thought pattern, I was able to identify my own cognitive distortion & redirect my energy into having a more productive day, in spite of a stressful morning.
The small practices you put into place have a compounding effect over time – meaning the more you implement them, the more reward you reap from them.
Turns out, I’ve discussed CBT strategies before in these emails – without even realising it
(sneaky sneaky hehe)
These thought patterns are born from our Ego. It’s a need to justify our shitty choices to ourselves.
We all do it.
“Urgh, I’ve had a long day. I’m probably better off not going to the gym tonight.”
“MAN, I have been working my ass off and seeing no results. It must just be my body type that’s stopping me from losing weight.”
To a certain extent, it’s our ego coming in to play to protect us, from ourselves. To make us feel better about our behaviour.
YOU CAN CHANGE THESE THOUGHT PATTERNS FOR THE BETTER.
Firstly, it starts with being aware.
Being aware that the voice in your head is not always right & that fucker should not automatically be followed without question.
Secondly, you need to know that CBT isn’t a magical solution. You don’t ‘do CBT’ once and expect all your problems to melt away. CBT is a learnt skill, meaning that you will get better at it the more you practice & your efforts will compound over time.
(Much like diet & exercise whhhhhhaaaatttttttt no wayyyyyy)
Thirdly, you need to listen to what you’re telling yourself & question it.
In the researched literature, there are 13 main different types of cognitive distortions. Each distortion can be flipped to being a cognitive enhancer, with practice.
For the sake of this email not being ‘too long’ (some people are so bloody whiney. I’m literally giving out free information on ways to help you improve your life, and you have the audacity to tell me it’s ‘too long’ – EAT IT) – I’ll touch on the most frequent one’s I see.
7 ways to make yourself miserable
Think in a ‘All or nothing/black or white’ approach.
This is thinking in terms of extremes, or an inability to see the world in any shades of grey. You’re either perfect, or you’re a total failure. You have one treat that wasn’t in the plan, and the whole diet goes out the window. You miss one workout, and the whole week is fucked.
Overgeneralise every situation
Take one data point & generalise it as the overall
This sneaky thought pattern takes one data point and generalizes it to as an overall theme. You receive a C on one test and conclude that you are stupid and a failure. Overgeneralization can lead to overly negative thoughts about yourself and your environment based on only one or two data points, not the whole picture.
Apply Negative Mental Filter
The mental filter distortion focuses on a single negative data point and excludes all the positive ones. One partner in a relationship dwelling on a single (perhaps not intentional) negative comment and viewing the entire relationship as a trainwreck, while ignoring the years of positive comments and experiences.
A Mental Filter Distortion is often seen as being pessimistic.
Keep Jumping to conclusions
Jumping to conclusions (a.k.a mind reading), is convincing ourselves that we know what someone else is thinking, when, really, we have no FLIPPING idea. I.E. Seeing a stranger with an unpleasant expression on their face & assuming they are expressing negative emotions toward you.
(this on really grinds my gears)
YOU ARE NOT YOUR EMOTIONS.
You, (as a living, breathing & capable person) are very separate from your feelings.
This is one of the most common distortions, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t succumbed to this distortion. Emotional reasoning is accepting your emotions as a fact & allowing them to dictate your behaviours. I.E. I feel angry, therefore, I am angry. When, in reality, you can feel angry without being angry or behaving angry.
Just because we feel something doesn’t mean it is true & doesn’t mean you have to succumb to it. Be better than your feelings.
Another particularly damaging distortion is the tendency to make “should” statements. Should statements be statements that you make to yourself about what you “should” do, what you “ought” to do, or what you “must” do. They can also be applied to others, imposing a set of expectations that will likely not be met.
When we hang on too tightly to our “should” statements about ourselves, the result is often guilt that we cannot live up to them. When we cling to our “should” statements about others, we are generally disappointed by their failure to meet our expectations, leading to anger and resentment.
This distortion comes down to self-talk and self-labelling. What you tell yourself, about yourself, becomes your reality. This isn’t some bullshit advice to ‘wake up every morning and tell yourself I’m Awesome’ in the mirror 7 times & suddenly everyone will love you. No, that probably won’t work. But at the least, stop telling yourself that you’re a bumbling idiot when you make one, small mistake. Be nice to yourself for fucks sake.
The beauty about all of these cognitive distortions is, to turn them into a strength you do not need to do the opposite.
I’ll say again,
To make these thought patterns a strength, you do not need to be able to think in the opposite way.
(That’s a lot of work)
You simply just need to be aware of them, and willing to question your though patterns when the time arises.
The addition of positive thought patterns is fantastic, but seriously, the ability to pull yourself out of cognitive distortions is the first step.
So, when I sell myself in these next few sentences, it may be interesting for you to listen to your own inner voice reaction.
When I say,
Ø Exercise programming
Ø Nutritional Programming
Ø Recipe Packs
Ø Meal plans
Ø Access to Training & Tracking app
Ø 1 on 1 coaching & tsupport
Ø $25 a week
What do you hear?
If it’s anything but, ‘Well holy shit that’s a bloody steal’, you’re probably dealing with a cognitive distortion & need to sort your life out.
Starting with my online coaching 😉
You may also hear yourself say, ‘Sweet, where can I start??’
If you have any questions at all, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cognitively aware of how fkn cool I am