Trauma, whether physical or emotional pain, daily or massive crisis, often triggers coping mechanisms to carry us through the moment. Humans are built to SURVIVE! Anything floating by when you’re “drowning” will be grabbed. Live to fight another day, to think about it later. Problem is, the thinking about it later may feel like pain, too, so the opportunity for clearer thinking is avoided. When the coping mechanisms become habit and are broadly applied to any pain or problem, they create dysfunction. You’re making it through the moment but miss opportunities to grow and evolve, to learn who you really are and to be comfortable with what’s really going on. Thinking is distorted and therefore your reality is distorted. Consciousness is awareness of who you are, beneath the triggers and mechanisms. Whatever the situation, there is something eternally You inside. Consciousness is awareness of what’s going on externally and knowing it does not have to be internalized and re-made into something you accept. You are still You, inside, no matter what. Life happens. Mindset is what you do with it.
As a yoga coach, one of the things I do is help people develop their consciousness — of their physical bodies, their mental/emotional mindset and their life situations. Releasing patterns that may have served a function once but have grown into life-blocking dysfunction takes real effort. Having support and guidance, whether from a coach or a support group or therapist can make the process a bit smoother. The good thing is that the human mind loves patterns and can learn new ones with persistence and patience. Through the calm, concentrated focus of yoga poses, breathing exercises and meditation practices, people can find the power to shift their mindsets into peaceful, healthy, balanced states.
Below is a copy of a post that, coincidentally, my middle school music teacher recently put on Facebook. He sums up very well several variations that a mind in survival mode may develop to cling to in a difficult time but fail to release later, even when it gets in the way of a full, healthy, authentic life. You may recognize some of your own coping mechanisms that you feel ready to release, to make room for a kinder, gentler reality and sense of peace and joy. LUVMVMT, in all its variations, exists to help people evolve toward healthy self-love, self-acceptance and self-care.
RE-BLOG: 15 STYLES OF DISTORTED THINKING
Filtering: You take the negative details and magnify them while filtering out all positive aspects of a situation.
Polarized Thinking: Things are black or white, good or bad. You have to be perfect or you’re a failure. There is no middle ground.
Overgeneralization: You come to a general conclusion based on a single incident or piece of evidence. If something bad happens once you expect it to happen over and over again.
Mind Reading: Without their saying so, you know what people are feeling and why they act the way they do. In particular, you are able to determine how people are feeling toward you.
Catastrophizing: You expect disaster. You notice or hear about a problem and start “what if’s.” What if tragedy strikes? What if it happens to you?
Personalization: Thinking that everything people do or say is some kind of reaction to you. You also compare yourself to others, trying to determine who’s smarter, better looking, etc.
Control Fallacies: If you feel externally controlled, you see yourself as helpless, a victim of fate. The fallacy of internal control has you responsible for the pain and happiness of everyone around you.
Fallacy of Fairness: You feel resentful because you think you know what’s fair, but other people won’t agree with you.
Blaming: You hold other people responsible for your pain or take the other track and blame yourself for every problem or reversal.
Should: You have a list of ironclad rules about how you and other people should act. People who break the rules anger you, and you feel guilty if you violate the rules.
Emotional Reasoning: You believe that what you feel must be true–automatically. If you feel stupid and boring, then you must be stupid and boring.
Fallacy of Change: You expect that other people will change to suit you if you just pressure or cajole them enough. You need to change people because your hope for happiness seems to depend entirely on them.
Global Labeling: You generalize one or two qualities into a negative global judgment.
Being Right: You are continually on trial to prove that your opinions and actions are correct. Being wrong is unthinkable and you will go to any length to demonstrate your rightness.
Heaven’s Reward Fallacy: You expect all your sacrifice and self-denial to pay off, as if there were someone keeping score. You feel bitter when the reward doesn’t come.