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The bright side: how to challenge negative beliefs

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 isolated event and assuming that all other events will follow the same pattern. 
  • Jumping to conclusions.
  • Catastrophising: 

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The bright side: how to challenge negative beliefs

The bright side: how to challenge negative beliefs

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/mar/08/negative-beliefs-distorted-thinking

theguardian.com

2

Key Ideas

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 isolated event and assuming that all other events will follow the same pattern. 
  • Jumping to conclusions.
  • Catastrophising: 

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?

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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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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.
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.”

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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Reconsider the positive thinking mindset

"Looking on the bright side" is advise that is seldom helpful.

When people think negatively, they can turn their anxiety into action. They take more time to prepare for the worst-c...

2 types of people
  • Strategic optimists: They will perform better if they do something positive before they complete their tasks.
  • Defensive pessimists: They are more likely to perform positively if they visualize failure before they complete their tasks.

These two groups succeed best under different circumstances. 

Positive and Negative thinking

Thinking positively can hinder people from realizing their goals.

At the same time, pessimists can become paralyzed by stress and fail to take action while those who are overwhelmingly positive are unlikely to experience stress or anxiety. 

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