Oftentimes, we think about situations in a negative manner and never tend to focus on the positive side of life. This is known as mental filtering and most of us are affected by this problem which makes us quite depressed.
Mental filtering is the process in which we have difficulty in accepting positive things and even when someone does say something positive to us, we filter the negative aspects of this compliment rather than accepting the compliment as it is.
Moreover, this process is quite dangerous for our mental health because it can give us stress, and depression.
Writes therapist Carolyn Rubenstein on this aspect,
Do you struggle to accept compliments and tend to focus on negative things? This may be a sign of mental filtering. Mental filtering involves selectively focusing on negative or distressing aspects of a situation, while ignoring or downplaying positive elements. People who use mental filtering often engage in negative self-talk, reinforcing their belief in the negativity of a situation.
Signs to identify mental filtering in ourselves and others around us
Let’s take a look at some of the signs through which we become victims of mental filtering.
Focusing more on negative than positive aspects
Some of us tend to focus more on the negative aspects of our lives rather than on the positive because we feel that our failures and mistakes are more as compared to our successes and achievements. This is a very big factor in mental filtering.
Overthinking about nonsensical and paltry things
Another aspect of mental filtering is the way we tend to overthink about non-important issues or unnecessary things that shouldn’t affect us mentally. But, these things take up most of our time and we don’t focus on the other important things.
Environment or situations also affect our thinking
Furthermore, sometimes the environment we are in or the situations around us can affect our thinking negatively or positively. However, during mental filtering, an individual is more focused on the negative aspects of the environment.
Not interested in receiving positive feedback and interested in criticism
Meanwhile, we make criticism a part of our daily lives and don’t like it when we are offered positive feedback from someone. If we have achieved something commendable in our lives, we decide to trash it, overthink the concerns more, and visualize what would have happened if we had not gotten that achievement.
Finally, Rubenstein concludes by saying,
By acknowledging and embracing the positive elements in your life, you can begin to combat mental filtering and achieve a more balanced and optimistic perspective.
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