As promised, here is the second part of my ‘unhelpful thinking’ blog. Continuing from where I left off…..
- Catastrophiing: This is my favorite 🙂 I think we all do this at times. So this is when we see a situation and we add and embellish the ‘story’ in our head and turn it in to an inevitable catstrophe.
- Emotional Reasoning: This is seeing things through the ‘filter’ of our emotions. So, a feeling becomes a fact in essence. For example you might feel anxious and therefore convince yourself you are going to fail something. It is putting the ‘horse before the cart’, seeing the emotion as the starting point, rather than a reaction to your thinking.
- Shoulds: These are the self limiting things we tell ourselves; I should get a Distinction, I have to do this , I ought always to be perfect. They can hamper how we go about life and make our world ‘rigid’ and perhaps stifling.
- Labelling : So giving yourself, or others a self limiting label – like loser, hopeless, idiot.
- Personalisation: This is seeing everything as relating back to you. So someone is upset and you assume “it must be something I did .” The reverse can also be true- where you blame someone else for something you have been responsible for- eg “if she didn’t say that I wouldn’t have reacted that way “
And I can hear you asking now – what do I do with all this? It’s so hard to change my thinking – it’s a habit now.
Well yes it can be hard- but it’s not impossible. In fact habits are just that – habits- and we can break habits we don’t like by choosing and learning a new way. You could start by recognising when you are using one of the unhelpful thinking habits above – and challenge yourself to see it as an unhelpful way to think.
If you’re really struggling though counselling can help 🙂