Unhelpful Thinking Patterns, Continued

Continued from the previous two posts, below are the final six Unhelpful Thinking Patterns that we've been focusing on.  


9. Emotional Reasoning: You assume that the way you feel reflects the way things are.

Example: You feel inadequate and fatigued, and assume that things are useless and require too much effort.

 10. “Shoulds”: You believe you must live up to certain perfectionist expectations. You may have perfectionist expectations of others. 

Example: I must do this, or I am inadequate. (“Shoulds” directed at yourself may result in guilt feelings.)
Example: They must do this, or they are inadequate. (“Shoulds” directed at others may result in anger or resentment.)

11. Labeling/Mislabeling: “Over-Generalizing”. Instead of describing an error, you attach a negative, generalized label to yourself/others.
          Example:  Instead of recognizing that you made a small error, you label yourself a “Loser”.

12. Personalization: You see yourself as responsible for events around you that you had little/no responsibility for.

Example: A woman behind you at a store knocks over a display, and you apologize for possibly contributing to the incident.

13. Tunnel Vision: Seeing only the negative aspects of a situation. 

Example: “My sons teacher cannot do anything right. He’s critical and insensitive and lousy at teaching.”  


Some of them are similar in style but all of them are not helpful to living a purpose filled and rich life. After you have become familiar with the 13 patterns, the next step is to begin to practice challenging these thoughts and replacing them with more helpful, healthy, and accurate thoughts. If you are finding this is exceptionally challenging to do, don't give up! Keep practicing as anything that is worthwhile takes practice. If you would like assistance with gaining control over your thoughts, check out our providers and schedule an appointment with one of our qualified counselors.