The Finding My Psych Podcast

The Finding My Psych Podcast

The Healing Power of the Cognitive Reframe (Fighting Our Propensity)

May 18, 2022

“We seek sameness – This is the root of distortion.”

Staying positive requires practice through reframe.
The Power of the Cognitive Reframe

A colleague at work recently remarked that I had a talent for keeping conversations positive (and therefore productive), even when meetings turned towards the negative. I thought, “Wow, do I have everyone fooled!” In reality, what goes on in my head, just like everyone else, is often in stark contrast to what I put out to the real world. What others see has intent and requires practice.

After taking time to think about this feedback, I decided to break down my approach and share it with you so I could understand it better for myself. What I discovered is that, in the end, engaging in conversation and problem solving while using a positive framework, keeps me moving in the right direction. It also makes for a less anxious work day!

In the end, we are all fighting for survival. Our negative bias is a propensity rooted in Evolutionary Psychology, supported by cognitive distortions we pick up along the way. Reframing our thoughts with some understanding of their evolutionary roots, leaves us and those we work with focused on what we need to accomplish to meet our goals, and love our job.

Episode Outline

Welcome to Episode 070: Cognitive Reframe

  1. What We Do:
    • Behavioural Medicine and Health Psychology
    • Providing easily accessible content designed to help you design your own transformative experience.

  2. Today:
    • Friend at work noted how I always stay positive. I remarked that this is not what is going on in my head and it takes practice to not let our initial reactions guide our engagement with others.
    • We take a solid look at how evolution has shaped our thinking, how that shows itself as distorted thinking, and the necessary cognitive reframing needed to overcome our propensity.

Evolution and The Cognitive Reframe

  1. Reframing as a Superpower
    • Nature of Mind and Survival (Evolutionary Psychology):
      • Our brain looks for danger and avoids.
      • We group like things together.
      • We look for the “in-group,” and “out-group” to form identity.
      • Seeking leaders (driven by need for healthy group).

    • Our behaviour becomes driven by cognitive distortions found in CBT.
      • All or Nothing Thinking
      • Over Generalization
      • Emotional Reasoning

Example #1: The New Boss (Introverted).

  • Evolution – Primed for danger and the threat to your job.
  • Evolution – Complicated by the fact that we are driven to find and align with the identified leader.
  • Cognitive Distortion – You engage in all or nothing thinking to support the perception of a threat.

—> Reframe: “The new boss is getting to know us. Relationships take time.”

Example #2: Staff Member is Dismissive to Gesture

  • Evolution – You forget the importance of your role as a supervisor, moreover, their leader.
  • Cognitive Distortion – You engage in emotional reasoning.
  • Cognitive Distortion – You get stuck in all or nothing thinking.

—> Reframe: “I will never be able to please all my staff and chasing this is not the focus I want for myself. Remember the nature of the relationship.”

Example #3: Social Media Friend

  • Evolution – Our need to be in the, “in-group”.
  • Cognitive Distortion – You engage in all or nothing thinking.
  • Cognitive Distortion – You are using a mental filter (new).

—> Reframe: “Social media is only that… “media”. Real relationships are forged in person. I will connect with her in a text or email.”