Mindful Recovery Principles and Sayings

How to Aggravate Your Disordered Anxiety:

Here are sayings that embody Mindful Recovery principles that may help you provide support to others as well as steer your own recovery. Many of the sayings are inspired by distinguished Cognitive Theorist. These sayings address the mistaken ways we inadvertently sustain and aggravate our anxieties.

Caught in judgment; trapped in anger:.

This saying is used when people find themselves continually angry. Caught in habitual judgment they are trapped in anger. The recurrent thoughts and imaginings of Being Right, Getting Back and Being Innocent are toxic and addictive. Break the habit and you choose liberation; sustain them and you remain trapped.

Going for the symbolic victory is already loss:

People sometimes deeply invested in valueless ends. Valueless objectives are closely associated with compensatory forms of coping like Being Impressive, Redeeming Honor, Getting Over or Getting Back. Precious time is spent on fruitless undertakings. Let Go an let yourself prosper.

Choosing victory over peace is just what the schema want:

This saying is used when people work their symptoms up by striving for some type of egoistic or symbolic victory when peace of mind is a viable option.

All or nothing attitudes set us up:

This saying is used when a person is engaged in seeing things through the lens of a compensatory ideal. The compensatory modes leave us brittle: we're winners or losers, saints or sinners, triumphant or defeated, right or wrong. Over-compensations also externalize: you are a friend or a foe, a cooperator or a non-cooperator, with me or against me, love me or hate me, etc. We learn in Mindful Recovery that we can be neither one way nor the other.

Expecting consensus in diversity:

This saying is used when people experiences frustration because others do not concur with them. We needlessly work our symptoms up and become unsettled and agitated by unrealistic expectations. The fact of the matter is that we rarely receive nor do we need full consensus from others.

Expecting perfection is fragile:

This saying is used when people are needlessly working up their anxiety because they are looking through the lens of a compensatory coping mode. The mode suggest: “If everything is perfect, then I'm OK. But, if everything is not perfect, then I'm not OK.” The fact of the matter is that we generally do not need perfection to achieve our ends.

Longing for vindication when blameless:

This saying is used when a person uses the coping mode Being Innocent. The person habitually defends him or herself as if they were formerly indicted. This behavior is addictive. The person goes over their defense over and over again. He or she is right to no productive end. The precious moments of life are spent in a compensatory spell. Grieving the past indignation--the false accusation-- and letting go breaks the spell.

Being accountable to everyone is not possible:

This saying is used when we worry about the opinions and judgments of irrelevant people. We simply cannot justify ourselves to every critic.

Blaming veils the heart of the matter:

This saying is used when a person uses blaming instead of understanding. It is as if blaming got to the heart of the matter when indeed the heart of the matter has yet to be considered.

Attempting to control the uncontrollable:

This saying is used when people use the compensatory modes that attempt to control uncontrollable nature or other people. Frustration awaits those who hope to supplant nature’s rule with their wishes.

Being right when there is no wrong:

This saying is used when people seek to see right and wrong when right and wrong don’t apply. One person, for example, can be messier than another. However, being neat does not necessarily equal being more righteous, more caring, nobler, more successful, or mentally healthier.

Heroic response rather than thoughtful action:

This saying is used when people behave rashly. Rash behavior is often generated by compensatory coping modes which lead us to behave from a predisposed ideal: “If I am triumphant, I’ll be Ok; if I look good, I’ll be OK; if I prove that I am exceptional, then I’ll be OK.” A heroic response in these instances is driven by maladjusted schema. It is opportunistic and inauthentic and will result in unwanted outcomes.

Choosing the insecure thought:

This saying is used when there is worrying. Though the future is unknown, the person chooses to presume the worst.

Attributing fact to feeling:

This saying is used when a person feels anxious or fearful and then assumes that there must be some danger somewhere. If we have habitual anxiety we can no longer absolutely link our fears to real danger. Similarly, if we are feeling diminished we are not necessarily being put down. Attributing fact to feelings distorts our perception.

Oppressing oneself with “shoulds:”

Frustration is always supported by some “should.” What should be happening is happening according to the rule and order of our existence. We need to work with life as it presently exists. “Shoulding” on ourselves simply keeps us agitated and distracted.

Denying options:

This saying is used when a person under the spell of a compensatory coping mode sees only two options. Compensatory coping modes typically construct “either-or” scenarios: “I win or I lose; I succeed or I fail; I get back or I get had.” A person denies options because it is so difficult drop our reliance the maladjusted coping mode.

Symptom led rather than self led:

This saying is used when a person reacts to schema and acts out of its dark spell. There is a distinction between our maladjusted schema and us.

Awfulizing is making the bearable unbearable:

This saying is used when people make bearable misfortune seem unbearable. In other words the idea of misfortune can be measurably more terrible than the misfortune itself.

Attributing danger to distress:

This saying is used when a person feels distress and mistakes it for a danger signal. Feeling distress is not necessarily a sign of danger.

Catastrophizing is creating doom from gloom:

This saying is used when people make potential catastrophes out common life-disappointments. These grim projections are driven by either-or thinking.

Imagination on fire:

This is one of the favorite sayings used by the Recovery Incorporated self-help fellowship. When we have disordered anxiety the danger signal is often generated from memories and impressions rather than real hazards. The internal danger signal starts going off and we can get captured in an alarming imagining.

Avoiding the decision elevates fear:

This saying is used when an inevitable decision is avoided because we fear failure. The need to be perfect is usually at the root of the hesitation. We are so oppressed by our compensatory thinking that we end up avoidant, afraid to take action.

Insisting on being exceptional:

This saying is used when someone fails to relinquish the need to be outstanding even when it leaves them miserable.

Interpreting a threat to status as a threat to survival:

This saying is used when someone reacts to be insulted like being mugged.

Filtering out the positive:

This saying is used when someone feels miserable and then starts to work him or herself up by listing all the disappointing events he or she is able to remember.

Generalizing the negative event:

This saying is used when someone has a disappointment or negative outcome and decides that this represents their whole life and their future.

Personalizing the impersonal:

This saying is used when someone attributes a disappointing occurrence as indication of some inherent negative trait or inherent bad luck.

Either-Or thinking is always suspect:

All compensatory modes of behavior are driven by our fears and all compensatory modes form either-or suggestions: Either I am a winner or a loser, either I am outstanding or a nobody; either I am triumphant or I am conquered; either I am accepted or I am rejected; either I get-back or I am beaten; either I am superior or I am inferior. This is a brittle way of thinking that sets us up for perpetual anxiety or despair.

Mirroring another person’s symptomatic response:

We sometimes buy into someone else’s symptomatic anger, fear, disappointment or judgment. We have enough problems of our own.

Expecting infallibility:

When we seek to be perfect or assume a zero tolerance to error, we set ourselves up for either despair or strife.

Good at observation; poor in interpretation:

When we see through the lens of schemas or their coping modes, we apprehend things erroneously. We may well be good at observing, however our interpretations of the events are distorted.