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Monitor Your Thoughts for Emotional Success

If you grew up in a dysfunctional family or other dysfunctional background it is likely that you did not receive all the messages and tools you needed for emotional success. You may have instead learned the very opposite, the behaviors and patterns of thought that lead to depression, anxiety, anger problems and more. You may have lived your life so far very unhappy and unfulfilled, lonely and wondering why.

This may sound like a broad concept but it really isn’t. It simply involves monitoring your thoughts for patterns that are unproductive and leave you feeling stuck, unable to make informed decisions and unhappy. It is really a very clear process of examination.

Picture yourself as the center or control board of your life. Actions, plans and decisions are coming from within and need to be  deliberate, not just reactions to the fires around you. How you process the information that the world throws at you is critical to your emotional success.  This includes how you choose to look at, perceive and react to things and experiences. If you are doing this based on dysfunctional thinking patterns learned in an emotionally distraught background then you are probably not functioning at high capacity. This actually affects your relationships, your job, your well being and even your finances.

Most of the ideas surrounding our thinking and its link to our emotions are based in Cognitive Psychology and maintain that how you think largely determines how you feel and behave. If you process information incorrectly, or with a dysfunctional thought pattern in place, it will cause you emotional difficulty.

Individuals from abusive or neglectful homes may view the world as full of danger and approach it with fear or anger. Depressed people may see their lives as something they have no control over and feel helpless. Those raised in homes where they were not validated or made to feel important or intelligent may view the world as a place where they should not participate, just leave it for smarter people to deal with. You can see how problematic and limiting these thoughts are.

There are twelve major dysfunctional thought patterns that cause daily misery.  We are all guilty of them at some time or other and may even have 4 or 5 favorites we use all the time!  Learning to monitor yourself, recognize when you are engaging in them and noticing how they make you feel so you can make changes is huge in terms of your emotional success and well being.

Just taking this first step toward feeling good makes you feel more control over your life. Choosing how you would like to think instead of how you may have been taught to think puts you in the drivers seat of your life.

Monitor Your Thoughts for Emotional Success

Audrey Sherman, Ph.D.

Dr. Audrey Sherman is a licensed psychologist, coach and the author of the book Dysfunction Interrupted-How to Quickly Overcome Depression, Anxiety and Anger Starting Now. Her expertise is in defining, describing and transforming dysfunctional behavior and thought patterns learned in childhood or beyond that keep you anxious, depressed, angry, stuck in unhappy and unproductive relationships, jobs and more. Dr. Sherman developed the Dysfunctional Patterns Quiz and other free resources to help you determine the effects of these on your life. She works with individuals, conducts live and online workshops and trains others in her programs. To learn more about Dr. Sherman, you can visit her website.

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APA Reference
Sherman, A. (2017). Monitor Your Thoughts for Emotional Success. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 13 Jul 2017
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