Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Relaxation and the Power of Beliefs

The human being has a tremendous capacity to be influenced--and to influence--depending on beliefs.  What one believes will have direct bearing on what that individual does, says, teaches, and acts upon.  That's why what we believe needs to be filtered through some sort of reality check that has its finger on the pulse of fact, and at least on the notion of care for all life on earth.

What you believe is what becomes real to you and history has shown that the human being is flawed in its ability to always know what is real, or what is good for it and for human kind.  That's why it's very important to take frequent reality checks into your belief systems to determine what is superstition and what is faulty thinking--what is real and what is yet to be determined?  All will influence the outcome of your life, level of stress, and anxiety.  In addition, it can't be done in a vacuum.  Meaning, you must step outside of your circle, family, group, religion, friends, neighborhood,  and yes--your beliefs, in order to look around a little bit (visually, psychologically, mentally, emotionally) and see what's really going on.

It's always easy for most of us to observe the delusional quality of a cult-like group and its mesmerized members, but much harder for us to see when we ourselves are submerged in such a similar mentality.  Think of elections and your devotion to your political party.  Or your home team.  Or how blinders can come on when a member of your own circle (i.e., family, friend, community) has done something wrong.  Group think has been studied at length and proves that the human mind can be swayed, convinced, and moved to believe things that are not good for it or for others, and that may not even true.

These points are also true when it comes to the reasons that your body becomes anxious and tense.  In most cases, it's based on what you are believing at the present moment.  If you are truly in danger and your body is truly reacting to that danger, then there is no malfunction (i.e., what you believe and what you feel are real).  But when your thinking is faulty, the reaction can be faulty as well.  So anxiety and tension can frequently be attributed to false beliefs about danger that only exists in one's mind, but not in reality.

In cognitive behavioral therapy, people are challenged to take another look at their beliefs.  There are plenty of identified faulty thinking styles that are common with we humans.  Check out the list here and see if you can identify the ones you use the most.  We can't always know things conclusively, but we can work to dispute false beliefs, and search for evidence that those things we believe actually have some foundation to stand on.  It takes practice and time, so be patient with yourself.  We all have faulty thinking of some kind.  The goal is to clear up the fuzzy view the best you can in order to clear up anxiety symptoms that are happening for no realistic reason.

Faulty Thinking Styles:

Mental Filtering
Black and White Thinking
Jumping to Conclusions
Control Fallacy
Fallacy of Fairness
Emotional Reasoning
Fallacy of Change
Global Labeling
Always Being Right
Heaven's Reward Fallacy

You can find a free printable copy of these at the following link:

Thanks to Charlie Sedanayasa for the great photo