We, as humans, love to believe we are rational beings who are always right but sadly the opposite is true. Just because you think something doesn’t make it so.
Part of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is being able to recognise the thoughts you are having and asking yourself whether they are helpful to you or not.When we are under emotional stress our thinking can evolve and become unhelpful, it becomes unbalanced or distorted. It isn’t until we notice our thoughts that we can work to change them.
If you recognise that you think in some or all of these ways, do not beat yourself up, notice that you’ve immediately recognised some types of thinking and that it is the first step to challenging them.
This is sometimes referred to as ‘black and white thinking’. Things are either good or bad; there is no grey area, no in-between.
If I am not perfect I have failed. I either do it right or not at all.
Seeing a pattern based upon a single event.Or being overly broad in the conclusions we draw.
Everything is always rubbish. Nothing good ever happens.
Only paying attention to certain types of evidence.Noticing our failures but not seeing our successes. I refer to this as only owning the bad stuff and not the good.
Only bad things happen to me.
DISQUALIFYING THE POSITIVE
Discounting the good things that have happened or that you have done.
Meh, that doesn’t count cause it is me.
JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS
These types of thoughts are broken down into two categories.Mind Reading: imagining we know what someone else is thinking. Walking into a room a presuming people are thinking bad of you. Fortune Telling: predicting the future is going to be really bad. Going into your job/college and expecting a bad day etc.
‘Making a mountain out of a molehill’. Blowing things out of proportion or inappropriately shrinking something to make it seem less important.
Something as simple as spilling your coffee on your newspaper being the worst thing meaning your day will be ruined.
Assuming that because we feel a certain way it means it must be true. Using critical works like ‘should’ ‘must’ or ‘ought’ can make us feel guilty or like we have already failed
I feel embarrassed so that means I must be an idiot because I feel like one.
Assigning labels to ourselves or others.
I am ugly and worthless, they are wonderful and worth everything
Once you can notice your unhelpful thinking habits, that is when you can work to challenge them.
If you have a thought.
Write it down.
What type of thought is this?
How is it unhelpful to me?
What can I do to control these thoughts?