5 irrational thinking patterns that could be dragging you down - and how to start challenging them - Deepstash

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5 irrational thinking patterns that could be dragging you down - and how to start challenging them

https://ideas.ted.com/5-irrational-thinking-patterns-that-could-be-dragging-you-down-and-how-to-start-challenging-them/

ideas.ted.com

5 irrational thinking patterns that could be dragging you down - and how to start challenging them
If you looked at the contents of your mind, would most of your thoughts be positive, optimistic and accepting, or negative, pessimistic and cynical? An appreciable amount of our sense of well-being is tied to what we think, or the content of our thoughts. Do your thoughts suggest calm and contentment, or anger, disappointment and anxiety?

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All-or-nothing thinking

Seing people and situations in either/or categories, without allowing for complexity(e.g.: the best/the worst). In reality, our lives unfold in shades of gray.

Finding one alternative path between the 2 extremes can help break the pattern, and conceiving of a few more develops your skill in seeing the nuances in every situation.

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Overgeneralizing

When you draw general rules from specific events, and apply them across unrelated situations. Your rules are usually negative rather than positive.

For example, when you don’t get a job you want, you think, “People don’t like me, I’m going to die alone.”

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Disqualifying the positive

When you reject positive statements or occurrences by insisting they “don’t count” for some reason or another. For example, your boss praises you in front of your colleagues. When someone mentions it to you later, you say, “She said that because I was standing in front and she couldn’t avoid me.”

Whenever you disqualify the positive, you’re wrongly reinforcing negative beliefs about yourself and your world.

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Personalization or excessive responsibility

You see yourself as the cause of a negative event for which you probably weren’t responsible (or you weren’t the only one responsible). Self-blame for others’ misfortunes or for everyday mishaps, or relating external events to oneself when there’s no basis for it, can negatively impact your daily life and how you see yourself.

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“Should” statements

“Should,” “ought to” or “must are words of constraint and constriction; they can lead to your feeling like you have few options and too-high expectations. Expanding your sense of choice starts with changing the language you use in your self-talk.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Narrative Habits

The way we talk to ourselves about the events in our lives is subject to the same laws of learning and habit formation that physical behaviors are.

That means we can learn to talk to o...

Events + Thoughts = Emotions

Our emotions are always mediated by some form of thinking. 

If our thoughts determine how we feel, that means how we habitually think will determine how we habitually feel.

Mind Reading

It happens when we assume we understand what other people are thinking without any real evidence.

It is a failure of imagination because we often only imagine and focus on the negative aspects.

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When we question our thinking

People became philosophers when they began to question what guides their thinking and analyze their thoughts.

All-or-nothing thinking

Today, one of the most common destructive thought patterns is all-or-nothing thinking. In other words, perfectionism.

Pragmatism and perfectionism

Pragmatism — as opposed to perfectionism — does not share the same paralyzing hang-ups; it takes what it can get.

Our pursuits should be aimed at progress, no matter how much it’s possible for us to make.

Examples of distorted thinking

  • Seeing the world in terms of black and white extremes. 
  • A tendency to magnify our faults and minimize our achievements. 
  • Taking an isolat...

Challenging beliefs

The first step is to become aware of which of these negative belief patterns you are susceptible to. Keep a journal and record your negative thoughts.

Ask yourself the following questions each time you experience negative beliefs.

  • What is my evidence for thinking this way?
  • Is there any evidence that doesn't support this belief?
  • Could there be other ways of interpreting this event?