Growth & Grace Podcast Episode #31
EP 31: Breaking Negative Thought Patterns
For something that can't be seen, heard, or measured, thoughts have incredible power.
Have you ever talked to someone , and then the more they are talk…the less they make sense?
They are not being logical.
They are talking in circles.
It's riddled with inconsistencies.
It is much easier to spot the errors in someone else's thinking in our own.
How to identify problematic thoughts
You feel a sudden shift toward negative emotion.
If you suddenly feeling down, or experience a jolt of anxiety.
You can't seem to shake a negative feeling.
Being stuck in an emotional state suggests there are thought patterns maintaining it.
You're struggling to act in line with your goals.
If you can't seem to follow through or you keep finding reasons to not face your fears.
Common Thinking Errors
Black & White Thinking: seeing things in extreme terms.
If I do poorly on this exam, I’m a total idiot.
Shoulding: Thinking the way we want things to be is the way they ought to be
I should have been more patient.
Overgeneralizing: Believing that one instance applies to every situation
I don't know the answer to the first question on this exam, so I'm probably not going to know the answers to any of the questions
Emotional Reasoning: Assuming our feelings convey useful information
My nervousness about flying means there's a good chance my plane will crash.
Mind reading: Assuming we know what someone else is thinking
They probably thought I looked like an idiot when I couldn't get my slides to load.
Outsourcing Happiness: Giving outside factors the final say regarding my emotions
I can't be happy unless others give me the respect I deserve.
Personalization: Thinking events that have nothing to do with us are actually about us.
She seems upset--it's probably because of something I did.
Discounting the positive: Minimizing evidence that contradicts one's negative automatic thoughts.
She said "yes" when I asked her out only because she felt sorry for me.
Breaking Negative Thought Patterns
Follow the Facts
Look for evidence that supports your thought
Are there real reasons you believe your negative thought?
Look for evidence that does not support your thought
Is there anything your thought ignores?
Look for possible errors in your thinking
Compare your thought with the evidence you've gathered
Identify a more accurate and helpful way of seeing the situation
How can you modify your initial thought to make it more consistent with reality?
Notice and record any effects of the new thought on your feelings and behaviors
As we practice new ways of thinking, we'll start to experience changes in our feelings and behaviors.
I believe that if you change your thoughts and beliefs, then you change your life.
Being able to identify and change your own negative thought patterns can be a HUGE game changer in identifying what is holding you back from achieving the life you dream about.
That's all I got for today. Let me know what negative thought pattern you think is most common!