How maladaptive thoughts can amplify pain!
One can experience any type of pain, however, if one has thoughts such as “I’ll never feel better,” or ignores the advice of medical doctors and says, “I can work through the pain,” that person can potentially make pain worse.
Despite the two examples of thoughts being seemingly opposite, a common theme emerges in that both thoughts are not facts. The role of automatic thoughts is instrumental. Automatic thoughts are just that—automatic. It can be equated to the doctor tapping a knee that results in the person kicking. To certain extent, one does not “think about thinking” as it can be reflexive. However, a person can gain control over how he or she responds to automatic thoughts.
One example of a maladaptive thought exacerbating the physiological aspects of pain is called a mental filter, which is when one focuses exclusively on certain, usually negative or upsetting, aspects of something. say, someone was experiencing a headache and has an automatic thought like, “I can’t believe I have another headache.” That type of thought can establish a “filter” that only allows similar thoughts that may include: “I always get these headaches,” “I’m going to have headaches for the rest of my life,” “These headaches are making me miserable,” “No one else gets as many headaches as me.” Although the initial, automatic thought is a fact, the mental filter usually invites thoughts that are untrue and, if unchallenged/unquestioned, will be treated as fact, and will amplify pain.
You can train your mind to successfully recognise and positively alter any maladaptive thinking you may have, through a course of Thrive programme.
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