Our thinking pattern plays a large role in how we feel every day. I will firstly be identifying the thinking errors that are most commonly used that trigger anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem.
These inaccurate thoughts really only serve to keep us feeling bad about ourselves. Have a look and see which ones are most common for you. This techniques is a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Technique.
- All-or-Nothing Thinking: Things are seen in black and white categories. Thinking in absolutes such as “always”, “never”, or “every”. “I never do a good enough job on anything.” This is seeing a single negative event as a never ending pattern
- Catastrophizing: Seeing only the worst possible outcomes of a situation
- Jumping to Conclusions: Interpreting the meaning of a situation with little or no evidence. Such as:
- Fortune telling: You think that you can predict the future, and convince yourself that bad things will happen without adequate evidence.
- Mind Reading: Interpreting the thought and beliefs of others without adequate evidence. “She would not go on a date with me. She probably thinks I’m ugly.”
- Magnification and Minimization: Minimizing the importance of events. One might believe their own achievements are unimportant, or that their mistakes are excessively important.
- “Should” Statements: The belief that things should be a certain way. “I should not be upset over this.” This can lead to judgemental and unforgiving expectations that can create a lot of anxiety.
- Mental filter: You pick out a negative single event and dwell on it
- Playing the comparison game: Comparing yourself to others and needing to keep up with others to feel good about yourself
- Disqualifying the Positive: Recognizing only the negative aspects of a situation while ignoring the positive. One might receive many compliments on an evaluation, but focus on the single piece of negative feedback.
- Overgeneralization: Making broad interpretations from a single or few events. “I felt awkward during my job interview. I am always so awkward.” Or if you make a mistake, you might think you have “failed” and are a “failure”.
- Labelling: You label yourself or others by terms such as “lazy”, “stupid”, “fat”, “loser”, stating them like they are facts. Labelling can affect your self-esteem and self-worth.
- Emotional Reasoning: The assumption that emotions reflect the way things really are. “I feel like a bad friend, therefore I must be a bad friend.”
Why are these thinking patterns important to be aware of?
How we think affects how we feel and behave, as well as what happens in our body. Our thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations and behaviours are all interconnected.