Many of us develop some very unhealthy ways of thinking for various reasons. It is important that we learn to catch these harmful and sometimes depressing thoughts and focus more on the positive.
For example, we can be mind-readers – we are sure we know what other people are thinking, particularly about us – and it is usually negative. What we should ask ourselves is “where is the evidence? Is there another way to look at it?”
We may be guilty of jumping to negative conclusions about a particular person or situation, despite having no evidence to prove these conclusions. We have to learn to stick to the facts and see if our assumptions are indeed correct.
We may also catastrophize, thinking the future is hopeless and full of terrible disasters, not giving any consideration to other possible outcomes. We should try to focus on what else might happen and ways we can improve our situation(s).
Black and white thinking is also very common. We may tend to have two categories for people or situations – either all good or all bad, a success or a failure. We should consider if anything is ever really 100% good or bad, or are there other possibilities that we are missing.
Finally, we can be guilty of “emotional thinking” – we believe our feelings are true judgements of who we really are. We need to ask ourselves “is there proof that my feelings are 100% true or is there another explanation for the way I feel?”
Whatever unhelpful thinking styles we may have, there are better, more positive ways to look at other people, situations and life overall.