BITTERNESS & 9 Mental Habits That Will Make You Bitter

by Andrea Bonior Ph.D., Psychology Today Magazine, 4/8/16.

… Want to have a more hopeful and optimistic outlook on life? See if you can diminish these mental habits, and go from there:

1. Not forgiving others.

Many people equate forgiveness with forgetting that something happened altogether, or with saying that it was okay that it did. That’s not what forgiveness is about. And many people claim that they have forgiven someone for something, while in reality, they have not. What real forgiveness means is allowing yourself to be free from the resentment of having been wronged, to accept that something has occurred and to believe that you deserve to move on from it. It’s to declare your independence from perseverating on how to get revenge on another person, to stop dwelling on how to make them “make up for it” and continuing to let that corrode your emotional well-being. It is letting go in its healthiest, truest sense. Forgiveness doesn’t minimize the wrongness of someone’s actions. It just allows you to no longer be hurt by them. Forgiveness is associated with reduced depression, stress, and hostility, and improved self-esteem and even physical health. When you look at its benefits, you’ll see it’s about being kind to yourself, not doing a favor for someone else.

2. Not forgiving yourself…

3. All-or-none thinking.

It is amazing how frequently all-or-none thinking seems to underlie such a variety of unhealthy psychological states. From panic to low self-esteem, from perfectionism to hopelessness, it is not uncommon to uncover hidden and not-so-hidden patterns of this dysfunctional thinking in my clients when they are struggling with a negative worldview. What all-or-none thinking does, by its very definition, is make your outlook on life more rigid. It magnifies negativity by making it appear bigger than it really is. It keeps your mind focusing on what’s gone wrong rather than what’s gone right, and it sets you up to see the bad in people, things, and life more often than the good. See if you can catch yourself making this mistake in daily life: Are you inherently uncomfortable with shades of gray, and do you prefer things to be more black-and-white? That might be good for organizing a closet, but when it comes to how you process bad things happening, it can hurt you…

4. Holding others to a higher standard than you hold yourself…

5. Believing that things will never get better…

6. Believing you have less control over your life than you really do.

Learned helplessness, first identified by Martin Seligman, involves the belief that we don’t have control over our situations even in cases when we do, and so we convince ourselves we shouldn’t even bother to try. This mindset has been shown to be correlated with depression, and for some people it follows a period of time when they really did not have much control over their lives—perhaps while suffering from abuse or neglect, for example…

7. Believing the myth of arrival.

The myth of arrival refers to the idea that once you have “arrived” at a certain point in your life, everything will fall into place and the life you have waited for will finally begin. But sometimes this belief—that things will automatically get better once a certain thing happens—can be nearly as damaging as believing that things will never improve, because the former sets you up for a devastating letdown when things actually don’t get better…

8. Overgeneralizing.

It was one of the “cognitive errors” that Aaron Beck first identified as putting people at higher risk for depression, and it often manifests itself in believing that if you fail at one thing, you will fail at everything. The tendency to overgeneralize—to turn a molehill of a setback into a mountain—also underlies the thinking patterns of a lot of people who have pervasive negative views of the world around them. Sometimes this type of thinking can even look like paranoia: “Give anyone an inch, and they will take a mile” or “Just about everyone will take advantage of you if you let them…”

9. Not practicing gratitude

For more read … https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/friendship-20/201603/9-mental-habits-will-make-you-bitter