This article was inspired by 6 Mental Traps That Ruin Your Life
Mental traps are a self-defeating practice that can hamper one’s life. Continue reading the article to learn about mental traps and how to rid yourself of them.
We all experience thoughts that challenge our self-worth, thoughts like, “Everyone is always better than me”, “I am a failure and no one can ever love me” etc. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Well, everyone is acquainted with such thoughts and they can be quite painful. Such patterns of thoughts are referred to as mental traps, which serve the sole purpose of perpetuating the feeling of pain and hopelessness.
Some people have such thoughts deeply engrained in their minds and this manifests for them an existence that only knows pain and negativity.
If you are acquainted with such thoughts, you need to know that this is just a way to deal with the world and your place in it. A dysfunctional way to perceive yourself in the world, a cognitive error that is maladaptive.
If your life and existence is dictated by mental traps, you are simply living a lie. Your perception of yourself and the world has been warped due to the overwhelming negativity that you emit.
These thoughts are simply a manifestation of the immense negativity that you harbor within yourself, which starts to manifest into such absurd and unrealistic thoughts.
Lucky for us though, our mind is significantly more powerful than the credit we give it. Literally anyone can overcome these mental traps through a bit of introspections and mindfulness.
But first, you need to understand what mental traps really are:
1. Baseless Assumptions
As humans, we have a habit of making baseless assumptions. These assumptions can be about anything, for example, our abilities or lack thereof, about the people around us, etc.
The problem with these baseless assumptions is that they can lead to a greater degree of mental and emotional distress, especially if you are assuming the worst.
Moreover, they can can lead to false judgments, which can destroy relationships and negatively affect our social life.
2. Damaging Comparisons
Although comparisons are not inherently bad, unfortunately, we have a tendency to compare ourselves in a negative light.
For example, “she is way smarter than me”, “I will never be as strong as him” etc. Such comparisons are born out of dissatisfaction, as we like to use other people as a yardstick of success.
The problem arises when such comparisons lead to jealousy and envy, which can also result in anger and frustration.
This is one of the main reasons why people end up destroying friendships over trivial matters.
3. Extreme Beliefs
Again, everyone has their own beliefs and we are entitled to them. However, beliefs born out of pure conviction can be quite extreme in nature.
Beliefs, like all other mental traps, are unconsciously harbored and can be extremely deep-rooted. Such beliefs have the power to bind us and diminish our cognitive flexibility.
If we create fallacies and consider them to be beliefs, they can feed our fears and can have a crippling effect, resulting in a life that is extremely limited, sad, and constrained.
4. Lustful Desires
Desire is another powerful emotion, which can stem from our needs or wants that are not being fulfilled. The reason for desiring is related to our feeling of discontent, born out of lacking.
Comparisons and desires have a close link as we desire due to our habit to constantly compare ourselves with others.
According to the Buddhist school of thought, desire equals pain, because our desires can be abundant yet we cannot acquire everything in abundance.
Desires can also result in a form of lust, which can cause one to form harmful obsessions. Most of the crime in our society is a direct result of desire.
5. Unrealistic Ideals
Ideals are usually born out of perfectionism and are mostly unrealistic. Since the ideal situation is always so difficult to achieve, it can cause significant amount of mental and emotional anguish.
Living a life that is dictated by ideals can put immense pressure on a person and create unnecessary anxiety.
When the disparity between our ideals and reality becomes apparent, it becomes a huge source of pain.
6. Unrealistic Expectations
What are expectations if not a preconceived notion that something will happen with certainty? When such unrealistic expectations are challenged, they tend to crumble and put the mind in turmoil.
Expectations are our way of creating misguided certainties regarding life as a way of creating a false sense of security. The thing about expectations is that it usually results in disappointment.
But more importantly, negative expectations can become self-fulfilling prophecies, which can result in the creation of negative perceptions about self and life.
All of these mental traps have a way of running (and ruining) our lives, especially when they are left unchallenged. They can take control over our lives and how we perceive other people and ourselves.
One of the best ways to fight off these mental traps is through involution, which is the evolution of the mind and thought.
This article was inspired by 6 Mental Traps That Ruin Your Life, which was written Aletheia Luna. She is the co-founder, editor and author of popular spiritual website LonerWolf.com. As a transformational mentor and holistic writer, she has helped to guide thousands of people throughout the world on their paths of self-acceptance and wholeness. You can follow her work and private updates on Facebook.