Have you ever felt anxiety and worry about some action or behaviour you took that actually did not materialize into any of your anticipated consequences?
For example, an offhand comment you thought might’ve been misconstrued sets off a flurry of negative thoughts like fear of getting fired or some physical effect like anxiety-ridden insomnia.
Part of being human is this experience of negative thoughts that trigger anxiety. One psychological term for these is “unhelpful thought patterns”.
The unhelpful thinking style escalating a small incident into a big disaster is called catastrophizing.
There are many types of unhelpful thinking styles and the first step to managing them is to recognize them for what they are: thinking traps that drag you down.
Here are ten common unhelpful thinking styles:
- All or Nothing Thinking is the trap of perfectionism
- Over Generalizing
- Mental filter occurs when behaviours are ignored
- Disqualifying the Positive
- Jumping to Conclusions
- Emotional Reasoning tends to be irrational
- Labeling of yourself or others
- Personalization relates to blame of self or others
- When you apply Should/Ought/Must to your behavior