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I've been writing "log of good things that happened today" for the last 2 years (every alternate day on average). It has resulted in a lot of improvement in my perspective and in general I'm more positive in my outlook. But one thing which I've started noticing more and more is my cognitive distortion of disqualifying the positive.

Basically, whenever something good happens I immediately come up with something negative about it and negate it as if it doesn't matter. And I'm stuck in this pretty bad. I can keep on reassuring myself endlessly about the good event but immediately another negative thought comes up negating it. Again I find something good in that event and again a negative thought comes up. If I counter that negative thought then yet another one comes up negating the experience.

Is a clinical term for this behavior? Also, is there any known method for overcoming this kind of distortion?

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The formal, academic term for this is "nay-saying." It's very, very common and highly contagious. The treatments include verbalizing a counter-message (literally, when you catch yourself nay-saying, substitute and reinforce the positive instead; "I did ____ today!" "Yeah, but it didn't really solve the problem...""Hey, I did ____ today and that's a good first step/an improvement/something that got me through the day!"), pointing it out when a friend tries to nay-say on you, and in a pinch, avoiding nay-sayers unless they clean up their act.

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What discipline uses "nay-saying" as a technical term? I haven't seen it in psych literature anywhere, although of course I have heard it used colloquially. – Krysta Oct 27 at 12:36

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