Is Everything I Say Important?

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about cognitive distortions and the way they affect mental health. Simply put, cognitive distortions are ways that our brain can trick us into acting or feeling a certain way toward a situation (in fact, I have a whole post on cognitive distortions if you want to learn more!). While I’ve gotten better at recognizing and managing these distortions, one of the ways I learned to cope with cognitive distortions was to be very careful about what I said. But is everything I say really that important?

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Changing Vocabulary About My Own Mental Health

“Well, when you put it like that…”

We’ve all had conversations when our opinions are challenged, our perspectives questioned. When we share our thoughts with others, our word choice and phrasing matters – how else can someone understand our point of view? Over the years, I’ve learned that the way I talk about my mental health hasn’t always been perfectly reflective of my attitude. And that phrase – when you put it like that – is one I say often. When I hear my words from someone else’s mouth, I realized how wrong I was, and that’s why I change my mental health vocabulary on a very regular basis.

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Mental Health Terms to Avoid – And What to Say Instead

Earlier this week, I wrote about the daily work involved in reducing the mental health stigma. There are things we can do every day to normalize mental health discourse, seeking help and talking to other people about our own mental health. One thing I mentioned specifically is to work on limiting the language that contributes to the disrespect and distrust of mental health issues. These words and terms make mental health issues out as something to be ashamed about, something to fear, instead of something to be open and honest about. Time to change our vocabularies!

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