–thanks to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy–overgeneralization–assuming a single event will become a life long pattern. Have you ever messed up a recipe, maybe someone said something and because of that one mishap you never made that recipe again? The thoughts can go from–“I can’t cook one particular dish” and expand to “I can’t cook.” Or you take one skiing lesson and aren’t ready for a black diamond slope immediately so the thought is, “I’m not a good skier.” We will quit activities because we mess up one time and expand it to a global statement that we aren’t any good at anything.
One way to help yourself is to stop, ask yourself “is what I’m thinking realistic or helpful.” If it isn’t, then restate the situation. I.E. “I messed up on the mashed potatoes one time. Before that I had made mashed potatoes numerous and got compliments on them. One time of putting too much salt in them doesn’t make me a bad cook.”
To help yourself not get caught in this trap, you can contact a mental health professional before the holidays so you can get through the holidays without so much stress. Yes,we mental health professionals are around after the holidays to help pick up the pieces but why get yourself in the mess in the first place. You can have lower stress holidays.
Gay Hunter, LPC-S