Over the years we tend to get into unhelpful thinking habits. One you identify them you can start to notice them – they very often occur just before and during distressing situations.
- Mental Filter – when we notice only what the filters allows us to. Like looking through gloomy specs or only noticing the negative things and dismissing the positive ones.
- Judgements – making judgements about events, ourselves or others instead of focusing on the facts and what we have evidence for.
- Prediction – believing we know what is going to happen in the future.
- Emotional Reasoning – I feel bad so it must be bad, I feel anxious so I must be in danger. Feelings are just a reaction to thoughts and thoughts are just brain reflexes.
- Mind Reading – assuming we know what others are thinking.
- Mountains and Molehills – exaggerating the risks involved
- Compare and Despair – seeing only the good aspects of other people and getting upset when we compare ourselves – social media can make this worse!
- Catastrophising – thinking the worst possible thing will happen.
- Critical Self – putting ourselves down, self criticism, blaming ourselves.
- Black and White thinking – believing something can only be good or bad, right or wrong
- Shoulds and musts – Thinking ‘I should’ only puts pressure on ourselves and sets up unrealistic expectations.
- Memories – current situations can trigger upsetting memories. Even though a memory makes you feel upset it doesn’t mean it is happening now.