We have all heard that we should rid ourselves of toxic relationships, think positively, eliminate negativity, be self-confident and believe in ourselves in order to be happy and successful.

This is all true and sounds great, but in fact can be very difficult to achieve if you don’t know where to even start or how this is accomplished.

If you find yourself depressed, anxious, angry or surrounded by toxic individuals it is likely that you have some dysfunctional thought patterns, beliefs and habits in place that you are not even aware of.

These patterns and thoughts are what keep you stuck in unhappiness. No medication can fix these, it is something you have to unlearn, as you probably learned it early in life, maybe from your family of origin. Or maybe you were not taught other ways of thinking that create emotional success.

If you are just focused on eliminating depression, you may be on medication, seeing a therapist and psychiatrist and researching a lot of information on depression. This constant focus on depression actually can keep you depressed. If you don’t understand the roots of your depression or anxiety or anger it will be almost impossible to eliminate them from your life. They did not come out of the blue. And once you figure this out, your goal is to no longer focus on depression. Focusing on things that excite you and make you feel good is a lot more fun!

So, your first step in overcoming any of these emotional difficulties is to understand their roots. Again using depression as an example you need to ask yourself, where did it come from? When did you first become depressed? What kicked this whole mental health thing off for me?

I believe somewhere lurking in your past is your answer. Low self-esteem starting in childhood is the biggest culprit in keeping us miserable as adults. It affects our ability to achieve at anything and therefore brings about depression. If we don’t trust ourselves, decision-making becomes impossible as well as making tough choices that affect our whole life. We let others choose for us or we choose what seems the easiest, afraid we can’t handle more or better.

We may believe we don’t deserve better or more. Or that only lucky people have more or better. There are many forms these thoughts can take but that is all they are, thoughts. Just because you think it or believe it right now does not make it a fact. You learned these thoughts somewhere, you can unlearn them and you owe it to yourself to do this.

Just as you may learn to drive in the USA where we drive on the right hand side of the road, that information doesn’t help you in countries where they drive on the left. You have to learn new information and put it to use. Not many of us have a hard time grasping that concept of having to learn this new way of driving in order to survive. However, when it comes to emotional well being, many of us bristle at the thought that we should learn something new or that we somehow lack vital information. Or that emotional ills can be corrected with just new information. Shouldn’t it take years of therapy and medications? Aren’t we that way for life due to a genetic disorder or brain imbalance?

No, not many emotional ills stem from genetics or permanent imbalances. There is no research that determines this for sure and in fact there is the opposite, research that shows that Cognitive Therapy provides relief faster and with less chance of relapse. Once you learn these tools you are inoculated for life.

In my career seeing clients in private practice and in doing workshops I have seen so much needless emotional suffering due to a lack of correct information. By eliminating emotional dysfunction and adding the proper tools for emotional success, you can expect to reap the following benefits:

  1. Improved mood and sense of well being.
  2. Sense of excitement about your life.
  3. Lessening of symptoms or outright relief of depression and anxiety.
  4. Resolved chronic anger issues.
  5. Improvement in your current relationships.
  6. The ability to attract, choose and maintain healthy love relationships.
  7. More success at whatever you choose to do.
  8. Living the life you were meant to live before the dysfunctional patterns took over.
  9. Raising children free of dysfunctional patterns that will interfere with their success and happiness.

Anyone experiencing emotional pain would like these things for themselves. Emotional success and stability are not just for a lucky group of people. They are for anyone who is willing to take a little time and learn a few new things. 

If any of this article sounds like you please give me a call or send an email to asherman@psychskills.com to see if working with me in some way can help you.

At the very least, download the freebie on Dysfunctional Thinking Patterns with the weekly tracking sheet. It is very helpful and you will enjoy seeing which thought pattern might be yours!


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