In today's episode of The Psychology World Podcast, we return to clinical and abnormal psychology and mental health.
So, in this episode, we talk about the 5 Ways Harmful Thinking Patterns using Clinical Psychology.
This episode has been sponsored by my book Abnormal Psychology: The Causes and Treatment for Depression, Anxiety and More Third Edition.
The 5 Ways Harmful Thinking Patterns Using Clinical Psychology
We Dwell on The Past Or Future:
Let's face it and we all do it. Humans are terrible for focusing and worrying about the future and past.
I know this from personal experience because when someone happened to me a few years ago. I focused and criticised myself for 6 months before I forgave myself. And still from time to time, I still focus on that painful piece of my past.
Yet humans worry about the future too.
Overall, this obsession with the past and future can harm our mental health because we focus too much on the negative.
Therefore, the proposed solution is to practise mindfulness as that gets you to focus on the present.
My personal tip (not official advice) would be to write about the painful and your worries, and hopefully you will see that it wasn't your fault after all. Or whatever it is for your own personal situation.
We Negatively Compare Ourselves To Others:
We also know this as upwards social comparison and this can have benefits to our mental health and self-esteem.
However, it can be harmful too, as it could lead us to feel worthless and useless.
I talk more about this in Social Psychology: A Guide to Social and Cultural Psychology Third Edition but I'll try to summarise it here.
For example, in an enormous source of your self-esteem comes from being an outstanding football player. Then you compare yourself to someone else who is better than you. You could start to feel useless and criticise yourself for not being as good as them.
A good solution here could be to engage in downwards social comparison because you will be better than someone else. This will make you feel good.
On a personal note, whenever I'm feeling worthless about psychology, I just think about some other students I know who aren't doing as well.
Then, for my author side, I look at all the other authors who are behind me on the author journey.
We Focus on What's Wrong with Us:
This we are all guilty of because no one is perfect, and it's easier to focus on the negatives or bad things about ourselves than the positives.
Leading to a decrease in mental health as we focus on the bad and we criticise ourselves.
This solution is pretty straight forward since you should from time to time acknowledge the bad, but focus on the good.
Like I know I'm not the best psychology student and my essays aren't the best, but I can write psychology books, podcast and more.
And just remember no one is perfect.
So, yes acknowledge and maybe work on the bad but focus on the good too!
We Treat Negative Thoughts as Fact:
This is an interesting point I think because I haven't experienced like this, but I know people who have.
So, sometimes humans treat negative thoughts as facts, and as I write this, I remember I have experienced this.
This acts as a sort of reinforcer for the negativity because if you think you're an awful person.
Then you might think you are when you aren't. Meshing you believe this falsehood to be true.
Personally, I remember this from a few years ago when I thought I was had a big personality and was almost attention seeking in a certain social situation. Leading me have negative thoughts about myself. Until I mentioned it to someone else and they thought I was being silly.
Leading me to possible solution being ask other people to see if you are right or just making things up in your head.
We Miss Changes to Grow By Avoiding Uncomfortable Thoughts And Feelings:
I don't think I know a person who hasn't done this before, and I have certainly done this.
I know it's a not psychology related but I know I can grow as a person and as an author. If I pitched other podcasts to appear on and talk to strangers more.
However, the idea of talking to strangers terrifies me, so I'm a bit resistant to pitch other podcasts.
There are other reasons, but that's the main one, and I'm worried about stuttering on other podcasts.
So, whilst in this case, it hasn't harmed my mental health. There are other situations where avoiding growth opportunities could harm us. Since we could later start to criticise ourselves for not going outside our comfort zone.
Therefore, what I'm doing to help take advantage of more growth opportunities is I sometimes just do things. For example, I just apply for things or try things out.
Or going back to my podcast example, I'm going to pitch podcasts that ask their questions pre-recorded first to get me used to the format.
So, I really hope you enjoyed today's abnormal psychology podcast episode.
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About The Author Connor Whiteley:
Connor Whiteley is the author of over 30 books in the sci-fi fantasy, nonfiction psychology and books for writer’s genre and he is a Human Branding Speaker and Consultant.
He is a passionate warhammer 40,000 reader, psychology student and author.
Who narrates his own audiobooks and he hosts The Psychology World Podcast.
All whilst studying Psychology at the University of Kent, England.
Also, he was a former Explorer Scout where he gave a speech to the Maltese President in August 2018 and he attended Prince Charles’ 70th Birthday Party at Buckingham Palace in May 2018.
Plus, he is a self-confessed coffee lover!