5 Strategies to Let Go of Negative Thinking

Many people get stuck in negative thoughts, rumination and worry.  When we think angry, anxious and bitter thoughts, we may find ourselves acting in ways that only make our problems worse.  For example, you may find yourself in a pattern of self-recrimination, repetitive conflict or unhealthy eating in reaction to negative thinking.

Each of us makes sense of the world through our past experiences, internal expectations and beliefs about the world.  We think about the events that occur in our lives and interpret their meaning based on our history, past learning and our own personal tendencies.  Sometimes our thoughts about our lives serve us well.  They help us maintain our moral compass, weather adversity, form strong relationships and find happiness.

When your thinking is making your life worse, rather than better, shifting how you view events in your life can have a big impact on changing how you feel.

Strategies to improve how you feel by changing how you think:

  1. Don’t approach interactions with the goal of explaining or convincing someone of your point-of-view.  When you disagree with someone, instead of attempting to prove your viewpoint as “right,” attempt to see how both viewpoints may exist and hold truth.
  2. Try to find commonalities in seeming opposites. Although some things may appear to be mutually exclusive, search for how they are in fact a part of a whole.  This might mean that you are both materialistic (interested in having new things) and at the same time concerned for the environment.  It could mean that you are light hearted and serious, forgiving and angry, doing your best and needing to do better.  On the surface these may appear to contradictory, but they are all part of a whole.

Key words:  DBT skills, dialectical behavior therapy, dialectical thinking, absolute truth, negative thoughts, rigid thoughts

  1. Give up on a search for one final indisputable truth.  Think of all the times in history when we believed we knew the truth—that the world was flat, that Vikings wore horns on their helmets, that Crisco was a healthy alternative to butter, that women don’t have the intellectual capacity to vote, that the earth was the center of the universe.  Acknowledge that our sense of “truth” evolves over time.  Allow yourself to loosen your hold on any “truths” that may change with time and circumstances.
  2. Let go of extreme language.  The words that we use have an impact on how we feel.  Using words such as never, always, must, should, shouldn’t, fair, unfair, ideal --increases the emotional intensity of your thoughts and narrows your attention, making it more likely that you will have faulty or exaggerated views. Think, instead in terms of sometimes, often, helpful, unhelpful, effective, mistake, and interest.  Allow yourself to think about what works, rather than how things “should be.”
  3. Remember that all interactions occur in a social world.  We have personal control over what we do, but we are influenced by our past experiences and our current life circumstances.  Someone who grew up in poverty might have very different views of money, for example, than someone who grew up with great wealth.  Each person’s view developed based on these very different experiences are neither right nor wrong.  Rather they are different based on each person’s history.  When you interact with others, don’t assume that their social context and therefore their beliefs developed in the same way that yours did.  Focus on accepting that despite our ability to think and act rationally, we are all influenced by our environments.  When you interpret someone’s behavior remember that it occurs in a context and that you can never fully know that context.  Although it’s different from yours, other viewpoints can hold personal truth.

If you feel stuck in a narrow set of beliefs or expectations, find yourself in repetitive patterns of conflict with others or find that you are stressed, anxious or fearful much of the time, changing your thoughts might have a big impact on changing how you feel.

 

Quick DBT Strategies for Handling a Stressful Work Day

Stress during any given day can leave you distracted by worry, unable to focus, jumpy and jittery or frozen and unable to perform as well as you might otherwise.

Technology may have improved your life and at the same time, contributed to increased expectations that you be constantly available to work.  Do you answer emails and return phone messages before and after work?

Continue reading “Quick DBT Strategies for Handling a Stressful Work Day” »

5 Steps to Change Angry Feelings

Do spiteful or resentful thoughts sometimes take over your life?  Or do you find yourself short tempered and in a cycle of lashing out at others?

Painful feelings such as anger, are often associated with worries about negative consequences-- say that an important goal will be blocked or that you will fail, be criticized, hurt or abandoned.  The intensity of your feelings and worries can leave you stuck in a cycle of angry feelings, with resentment and rage fueled by worry, spiteful thoughts and memories of hurtful experiences.

Continue reading “5 Steps to Change Angry Feelings” »

A simple definition of a mortgage is a type of loan you can use to buy or refinance a home. And no, there are no such things as long-term mortgage. There is only a short-term mortgage. I won't go into that much detail, but the main difference between a mortgage and a loan is that a mortgage can be forgiven if you aren't able to pay the mortgage back. You can think of a mortgage as a form of debt. When you buy a house, you buy that house. If you don't pay for it, you can sell it at any time and get to whatever value you put on it. We suggest visiting websites like https://www.sofi.com/home-affordability-calculator/ to get all the information you need about mortgages.

 

This new type of reverse mortgage would help retirees generate much more income - MarketWatch

In reality, many people have several different types of mortgages, including tax-free mortgages, mortgages that are also for payment to the bank and interest-free mortgages. Some borrowers choose to buy a home with a tax-free mortgage, but some prefer to buy a home with a loan from their bank that they have to pay back. A tax-free mortgage is one that is tax deductible but that also doesn't come up to its full value until after you have paid for the mortgage and the monthly rent. For instance, if you bought a house for $200,000 and it was worth $210,000 after taxes, the $55,000 you paid for it will be tax deductible, but the $210,000 you owe the bank for the mortgage will not be.

Why Do Some People Refinance?
Some people prefer to pay back their mortgage faster than they owe the bank. Others prefer to pay less money into a mortgage than they are able to pay back. There is a huge world of options to choose from. You can get tax-deductible loans, you can get a loan with a fixed interest rate, or you can use an unsecured loan that you will pay off by getting a loan from the bank. You can get a fixed interest rate or a variable interest rate. The question is what type of mortgage do you want?

Here is a good reason to refinancing your mortgage:

Pay off the mortgage faster
Another reason to refinancing your mortgage is that you have a debt. You have an interest and principal obligation to pay for the home that you are now paying for. Do you really want to pay off that debt with a mortgage? Of course not! After all, how can you afford to pay off that debt if you are only paying off the mortgage?

So why do we want to pay it off faster?

Well, one reason is because paying off the debt quicker will leave you less money to spend on stuff. For example, suppose you are in your early 30s, have a relatively large pay grade and a nice house that you would like to sell. Let's say your real estate agent, on a good day, says you have a $250,000 house that needs around $10,000 in repairs. So instead of trying to sell the house, you let it sit for a year or two. That money you spent on making repairs will help you afford to pay off your mortgage faster. So, you could refinancing for $25,000 per year. Now, instead of paying for the mortgage, you are paying for the house, not spending it on anything else. That way, if you buy something nice, you are the one paying the bill instead of your lender.