What do we usually do when something generates emotional distress in us?It depends on the people. Some try to implement active strategies of emotional regulation. Others are starting an inefficient thinking model. If something worries them, disturbs them or makes them sad, this thought stays in their head and turns again and again.
Does this help us to remove these negative emotions? On the contrary.This causes the discomfort and makes that sensation does not leave our mind. So that we enter a spiral in which we feel more and more badly.The problem is that we are not always aware of how we enter this unnecessary vicious circle. And if we are, we do not know how to stop it. Is it not so?
"Even your worst enemy can not hurt you as much as your own thoughts."
What is attentional cognitive syndrome?
According to cognitive psychology,the way we process information and the thoughts we have about situations is what determines our emotional experience. In other words, our treatment of our "emotional" thoughts has a considerable influence on our malaise. And there are different ways, more or less effective, to manage this internal experience.
Thus, the person who tries to flex his thoughts and find solutions to what worries or saddens him will not feel the same asthe one who remains attached to these negative ideas and emotions and returns them without any particular purpose.This last example corresponds to what happens to people with attentional cognitive syndrome.
The attentional cognitive syndrome reveals a thought pattern that leads us to preserve the emotions and negative ideas that appear in our head.Why ? Because there is a series of metacognitive processes that make this vicious circle do not change and become chronic.
"There is nothing good or bad, it is human thought that makes it appear so."-William Shakespeare-
What is the cognitive treatment in attentional cognitive syndrome?
Attentional cognitive syndromehimselfcharacterized by the fact that we set in motion a model of thought that includes strategies of rumination, worry, fixed attention and negative adaptation.Let's see the process below.
Our attention bias is found in the stimuli or situations that generate malaise. The occurrence of negative events is more important than that of positive events (although this also happens) when our attention is more "alert" to the said negative events. In other words, an event must be much more positive than a negative event so that we can calculate it and contemplate it by answering "does it suit us?".
Otherwise, once we are aware of these negative thoughts and concerns, we continue to turn around without being able to divert our attention. Finally, the process is perpetuated because of the lack of adaptive strategies of emotional regulation.
"The worst thing that can happen to a man is to have bad thoughts against him."-Goethe-
What can be the consequences of attentional cognitive syndrome?
This useless rumination of negative thoughts generates problems of depression and anxiety. Regarding depression, attentional cognitive syndrome assumes that the negative cognitive triad (negative thoughts about oneself, the world and the future), characteristic of this disorder, is perpetuated. TheDepressed people ask questions such as "why do I feel like this?" They respond with attributions involving them in a negative and non-circumstantial way (For example: "There is something wrong with me" instead of "I feel this because I'm going through a stressful moment").
This process is repeated continuously. It therefore becomes more and more automatic and makes it difficult for positive changes to affect the personwhich is hard to perceive. There is also an attentional bias inherent in the possible dangers that can appear in anxiety problems. This "threat monitoring" is manifested by ruminant thoughts such as "what if it happens …?"
The problem is that these thoughts do not turn in the head to find a solution and implement it if the danger should really occur.On the contrary. The person revolves around the possibility that something bad can happen. So that anxiety increases. A possible intervention becomes difficult.This also means avoiding situations in which the danger may occur.
It is therefore very difficult for the personto have realistic experiences against unsubstantiated threats.In the end, attentional cognitive syndrome makes it all the more difficult to de-flex our thoughts when something causes us to feel unwell. It is therefore important to be aware of it in order to manage it and regain our well-being.
Images cordially provided by Tiago Bandeira, Alex Iby and Callie Gibson.