Mental Short Cuts to resolving anxiety that comes from making Mistakes.
No one likes mistakes, but we all make them and inadvertently have to deal with them. If you take mistakes more personally than you should where you allow errors to disrupt your mood, lower self -esteem and caught up in blaming others then you need to know some mental techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to reduce your negative thinking. So what is the cognitive therapy secret to manage mistakes so that they don’t become a source of anxiety, anger and stress?
People who see problems/mistakes as opportunities and things to work-out have the following automatic reactive thinking to these situations:
CBT Tip 1. See the situation in numbers: They break it down to facts and figures. What is the cost here? Can I afford these? Is there a way to increase my security? What is the cost/value of that security?
CBT Tip 2. Accept external factor and constraints: They accept that life doesn’t operate based on ideals but reasonably consider and factor in practical features and limits. e.g. Rather than seeing someone as disinterested recognize that they are not necessarily reliable due to scheduling problems.
CBT Tip 3. Get Active in gathering information about what is available They focus their mind to pay attention on what is possible by gathering the information necessary to get on.
CBT Tip 4. Expect Problems: They accept that not all factors are within their control. Therefore they reserve mental bank to deal with the expected but unknown stuff.
CBT Tip 5. Accept rational and reasonable responsibility. Recognize that they made decisions based on knowledge and reasoning available at the time not what is available in the future.
Bad Mistake automatic thinking
When people have anxiety and negative automatic thinking in reaction to stressful problem or mistakes it is because the mind connects to parts of the brain that magnifies the problem and gets stuck in focus on elements of “what is not fair..”it should have been this way” and the loss itself..”if only if ” . Most likely because the error/problem was not reasonably anticipated by the brain.so it sparks a threat reaction.
The goal of the mental gymnastic exercise is to be able to prepare your brain to be flexible and be able to perform at its best during times of mistakes/problems. The result of this cognitive mental exercise is to increase mental certainty.
CBT Mental Gymnastic Reducing Anxiety around mistakes:
Sit down, close your eyes, visualize the situation where the mistake occurred. Focus on where you are magnifying the outcome and the blame. Consider the following questions: What is the emotional part of the problem? What is the hardest part to accept for this yourself ? Can you see yourself accepting the new outcome? Repeat this cognitive visualization 3 times.
For more information on getting help with your anxiety problems or stress and increasing mental and emotional performance contact us today. 212-631-1133 or email email@example.com
Dr, Jayme Albin is a Clinical Psychologist and Yoga Instructor she provides individual, couples and group format psychotherapy and mental performance coaching sessions in person or through telatherapy/phone sessions or video therapy via Facetime or Skype.
Our office is located in Midtown New York City
120 East 56th Street
Dr. Albin is an expert resolving anxiety and stress related problems in work, relationships and personal situations. She is an expert in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and EMDR, Biofeedback therapy, Virtual Reality Therapy, Mind Yoga Therapy and Organization and relationship Psychotherapy.
Negative interactions with others especially at work can be extremely stressful. In fact negative experiences where people push our buttons is one of the primary contributors to burnout in an office setting. Edit
When we experience negative stressful encounters with others it can send the meta message that our needs are not important. Everyone wants to feel respected at work and feel they are making important contributions, when feedback or interactions trigger the idea that we are not respected, worthy or trusted that can trigger negative emotional reactions and contribute to burnout syndrome.
Burn out is a psychological syndrome that includes exhaustion,cynicism and inefficiency at work. It can lower self esteem and lead to anxiety and depression. Burnout is costly in that leads to unnecessary turnover, illness and loss of productivity.
Unfortunately because we can’t control the actions of others we must focus on taking responsibility for our own responses and reactions to negative stressful encounters
Here are a few simple tips to mange negative emotions when someone pushes your buttons:
1. Breath and relax: Don’t let unnecessary tension add to the problem. Unless you need to physically fight or run away it’s not necessary to get worked up. Click here on breathing tips
2.Be your most “emotionally intelligent self”: assess what feelings you’re having and how strong they are. This will help you to become more self aware of your emotional reactions so you can be productive not counterproductive in your actions – frustration, anger, anxiety, confusion, dissatisfaction and disappointed usually are common. Use a ratings scale 1-10 to measure the amount.
3. Go Deep: what bugs you most on an emotional level with the situation or person e.g. I’m not in control; I feel taken advantage of;
3.Then go concrete: ask your self what concrete obstacle are you feeling up against because of the situation E.g. If he keeps interrupting me I can’t get this report in on time, e.g.2 I have to stay later 30 min than I wanted to in order to finish my tasks. I won’t be home in time to workout
4. Put a value that is realistic on the problem? e.g. If I don’t get him to stop interrupting me I will miss the deadline -this could cost us the bid. E.g.2 If I don’t end his interruptions I will be delayed in my todo list but many times what he needs is very important and if I don’t get to my gym class it will cost me $30 fee.
Both problem examples have value but very different
4. Look for solutions that meet the value of the problem and address the concrete issue: Ask yourself “what different solutions can I take to resolve the concrete part problem?”
E.g. I can let him know that I need to get this report in on time and ask him to plan a meeting later in the day. Or I can say nothing and try to get in done.
E.g. 2 I can tell him that my Task list is pending and that I can give him a few minutes of my attention now. Or I can forgo the gym on days we are really busy at work and just workout at home.
5. Cost /benefit: Evaluate each solution: What are the benefits and costs of the plan? How much better or worse will I feel if I do or don’t activate this solution? Eg. If I plan a meeting then I have to find time but at least I’ll have time to finish my report And feel in control. If I don’t then I’ll be anxious and not able to focus on him or the report.
Eg.2 If I tell him I have to do my todo list and give him a few minutes now I’m afraid he will then want to meet at the end of the day. I like to leave on time and prefer no meetings after 4 so I’m better off managing his needs during the day and having my autonomy later . Keep in mind these are just examples. It’s up to you to do the evaluation for your own value.
6.Take Action: Then activate your plan. If your plan requires speaking to someone make sure you use assertion not aggression and active listening not defensiveness.
- A few tips to keep in mind: set up for positive conversation by making a request to speak to the person. Even if it’s on the spot- let the person know you have something to say or ask of them. Prepare them to hear your feedback and focus on yourself don’t just dump it on them. “Hey I’m having a hard time concentrating. Can we take a few minutes to catch up later ? ” Then later be assertive by mention how the interrupting is for you. Don’t blame the person for interrupting you. Ask them for suggestions on how to connect that works for both of you. After all you don’t want to do the same as in now impose your needs on them. Help them to see how you both will win.
Dr Jayme Albin is organizational psychologist and coach. She works with individual professional and decision making leaders to improve work place stress and performance and resiliency training.
Dr Albin. For more info contact 212-631-1133 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing choice in a world with endless opportunity can be challenging to goals and happiness.
Choice, freedom and autonomy are all part of American dream and no doubt fundamental to an individual’s sense of well being. Healthy people want to guide their own lives and feel as though they are taking advantage of the best opportunities. As a result we naturally tend to evaluate choices, look for improved opportunities and socially compare ourselves to others.
But social research shows that our society is at a cross roads with the phenomena of the benefits of more “choice”. Executive coaches and therapist are reporting more and more stress and problems with clients dealing with too many choices.
Too much choice can lead to negative feelings of anxiety, feeling overwhelmed and a sense of dissatisfaction. Causing unhealthy behaviors of paralysis, avoidance, distraction, overindulge and ruminating.
What is Flow? – Flow is a mental state where one becomes extremely absorbed and involved in an activity, it is the mental merging of awareness and action. When you experience a state of flow your brain enters a specific “zone” of brainwaves. The zone includes both alpha and theta brain waves (seen on an EEG in a Psychologist or Neurologists office). These brain waves are both the cause and the result of staying calm and focused.
Athletes and musicians often describe being in the “zone” at times of peak performance, in which they experience not only strong attention capabilities, but also a lapse in their sense of time passing as well as a surge of positive, calming energy.
Some of the characteristics of being in a Flow state include:
-a feeling of a “Natural high” that includes calmness and peace, spontaneous joy
– being able to avoid giving into meaningless distractions and emotional reactions
-a sense that challenges are targets to problem solve rather than obstacles that shut you down
-a self reinforcing feeling that encourages motivation and consistency for positive behaviors
-boundless sense of time
Using the Power of Flow Meditation to enhance your life
The “Flow Zone” is not just for athletes or artists it can be used by everyone to enhance your daily lives! You can use Flow in work, school and relationships. When you have flow you are able to move from action to action without getting being overly negative or stressed. You don’t sweat the small stuff. You stay focused on your present and what you can control.
Why does being in Flow make us happier and more successful?
A bi-product of being in a flow state of mind is to feel calm and in control. Imagine, similar to an athlete who uses the flow zone to stay focused on their play goals, to attend to their game strategy and to expect challenges from opposing team mates, you too are prepared and accept challenges in a way that lets you stay focused on what you need to do for you.
Being in the zone is self reinforcing to your brain’s chemistry, so the more often you are in a state of flow, the easier it is for you to access this state when you need it. A bi-product of this self-reinforcing trait of the flow state is that it forces you to be better by constantly pushing your limits and broadening your skills.
How do we achieve flow?
Since being in the flow zone is automatically reinforcing to your brain’s chemistry as well as your psychological state of mind and the behaviors that follow, the best way to achieve flow is to practice specific mind-body exercises that encourage those same thought waves.
“You can enter a mental state of flow by engaging in certain breathing, visualization and mediation. It’s the combined brained activity of attention and calmness over a challenging stimulus that puts the person in a state of flow. “
“In my flow program I work with clients to develop personal visualizations that create positive outcomes in contrast to your personal fears. Fear is what limits us from achieving a state of flow in our lives. When your brain is in a flow state it sees the positive and neutral information more clearly and keep potential problems within reasonable limits so that you can cope emotionally or problem solve is necessary. When you lose the flow you become overwhelmed, distracted or bored.”
What to do? Here’s a simple visualization, mediation and breathing exercise
Lie face up on the floor. Close your eyes 9/10 of the way. Start to scan your body for tension. Begin to attend to each of the following body part individually for 20-30 seconds (feet, calves, thighs, arms, hands, abdominal area, chest, shoulders, forehead, jaw). On the inhale notice that body part ; on your exhale tell that part of the body to relax and as you notice it relaxing. Progress through your body
Then start to become mindful of your breath as you allow your breathing to deepen challenge your mind to now stay focus on repeating silently to yourself a mantra that reflects a personal positive belief you have about yourself. “I can …” “I am” as you visualize yourself doing an action that exemplifies this belief. When you become distracted challenge your self to stay on your visual and affirmation.
Want more help in practicing getting into your zone, then schedule a private or attend a group flow mediation class in NYC New York or South Hampton, Hampton NY (private or group) with Dr. Jayme Albin Email or call us for information 212-631-11333 or Info@cbt-newyork.com
Dr. Jayme Albin is a Clinical Psychologist and Yoga Instructor. She has appeared on National television as an expert on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Yoga Therapy including Dr. Oz, Montel Williams and film documentaries. She wrote the “The Official Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” by Penguin House 2014 and “Treating Fear of Flying using Virtual reality and biofeedback” 2011.
For more information visit us at cbt-newyork.com
Stop Automatic thinking and reactive behavior-tips from NYC Cognitive Therapist & Psychologist Dr. Albin
Tips from Clinical Psychologist and Cognitive Behavior Therapist of New York Dr. Jayme Albin-
“Cognitive Behavior Therapy” at its very essence involves developing self awareness of one’s thinking and how if effects your day to day life and relationships.
Understanding Automatic thoughts is a good place to start this process (called metacognitive process).
Automatic thoughts are the thoughts and images that involuntarily pop into our conscious (or just below if they are habitual). They make up how we “read” a situation. Understanding your automatic thoughts can influence change in a variety of situations.
Here are some examples:
- You are at work and you see a look of disapproval on your boss’ face in response to something you have given him. Your automatic thought (AT) is “Oh no, he thinks I am stupid, I will never get promoted”.
- You are at a social gathering where someone looks at you inquisitively, your AT is “That person does not like me! What did I do wrong?”
- You are in cab and the driver runs into traffic, your AT is “What’s wrong with you? Why didn’t you know to take the other route, you idiot?!”
AT’s are dangerous because usually we take for granted that they are True. Even more dangerous, we have a tendency to accept them as the only explanation or view of the scenario. Reactive behavior is based on automatic thinking.
In CBT, we examine the automatic thoughts to see just how accurate or functional they really are. That is called reality testing. When we reality test we often find there were other avenues we could have taken with our responses.
It does not necessarily mean that our original opinion or automatic thoughts are entirely wrong, but rather it helps us to integrate the perspective of others or reduce biases that create extreme reactions to events.
By reality testing and other methods of examining our automatic thoughts we can then behave proactively, including problem solving in improve situations.
So going back to our examples, when we reality test and practice replacing the automatic thought with a more helpful one we come up with:
- When you see a look of disapproval on your boss’ face in response to something you have given him. Your replacement thought can be “He is not pleased with the project, so let me ask him what I can do to improve it”.
- So when you see someone look at you inquisitively, your replacement thought can be “That person does not seem to be happy, let me go over and see if I can address any misunderstanding or help “
- You are in cab and the driver runs into traffic, your replacement thought can be ” Maybe I can ask him if there is another route he knows of? “
The best part of this method of thinking and responding is that there is no down side in attempting to improve on any situation!
These biases and extreme reactions come out in stressful or emotional situations because our automatic thoughts are based on beliefs we have about ourselves, others and the world in which we live . These are called core beliefs or schema. These core beliefs and schema show up in the form of expectations, assumptions and judgments and are reinforced by our reactive behavior and thought patterns.
For more information about Cognitive Behavior Therapy or Integrative Psychotherapy in New York City please contact Dr. Jayme Albin Info@CBT-NewYork.com 212-631-1133
Q: What is Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)? Cognitive behavior therapy is a form of therapy that focuses on the relationship between thoughts, behaviors and feelings. It is one of the few forms of psychotherapy that has been scientifically researched and found to be effective in hundreds of clinical trials for many different disorders.
Q: How does Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) differ from other forms therapy? CBT is more focused on the present, more time-limited, and problem-solving and goal oriented. During sessions clients learn specific skills that they can use for the rest of their lives. These skills involve identifying distorted thinking, modifying beliefs, relating to others in different ways, and changing behaviors.
Q: What is the theory behind CBT? Cognitive behavior therapy is based on the cognitive model: the way we perceive situations influences how we feel emotionally.
For example, someone being asked to reschedule a meeting might think “I am not being respected” and feel angry. Another person might think “another day will give me more time to prepare” and feel happy. So it is not a situation that directly affects how people feel emotionally, but rather perspective of that situation. When people are in distress their perspective is often skewed and their thoughts become irrational, overly negative or overwhelming and obsessive.
Q: How does Dr. Albin use CBT to help clients with their problems and symptoms? Dr. Jayme Albin teaches clients to identify, evaluate and challenge distressing thoughts. The overall goal of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is to change deep core beliefs and develop healthier attitudes- so that they can relieve symptoms, feel better and behave less reactionary.
Q: How does CBT help behavior problems? The second focus of CBT is on behavior change and building skills to problem solve . Dr. Albin works through the exposures (virtual Reality, imagery, live exposures) with clients to reduce avoidance and teaches skills such as assertion and empathy building to enhance relationships and self-confidence.
Q: How does CBT combine with Biofeedback and Yoga Therapy? Dr. Albin teaches breathing and deep relaxation techniques using biofeedback. Clients use these techniques to tap into subconscious areas of the brain, to release painful emotions and cure physical symptoms of anxiety, anger and depression. These techniques aid in the exposure therapy session by making the exposures more tolerable.
Q: How long does CBT last? Cognitive Behavior Therapy can be relatively short term (lasting from 12-16 weeks) or can be more long term (6 months or longer). The length of treatment depends on the goals of the client.
Q: Who can do CBT? CBT is an appropriate therapy for children, adolescents and adults. It has been proven to be effective in treating anxiety, depression, anger problems, PTSD, weight loss, eating disorders and adjustment problems. CBT is also helpful for clients looking to be more positive, enhance their sense of well being, improve self esteem and enhance relationships.
For more information on Cognitive Behavior Therapy services and other psychotherapy services offered in New York please call or email us today 212-631-1133 or DrJayme@askthecbt.com