EP 31: Breaking Negative Thought Patterns

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!