This way of thinking can be referred to as “unhelpful thinking” (for exactly the reason that it does not help foster those calm and comfortable emotions that we all enjoy!)
Fortunately, we are here to let you know of a few things you can do that may assist in breaking your cycle of unhelpful thinking.
Identify your style.
That’s right, we all have a style of unhelpful thinking that we tend to use most. Some common examples of unhelpful thinking styles include black-and-white thinking, jumping to conclusions, overgeneralising (i.e., generalising one negative event to all others) and personalisation (i.e., self-blame).
So, whether you notice that you struggle to see the grey areas in life, or often make conclusions without having all the facts, you can begin to practice identifying your style in the moment. Getting familiar with your thinking style can be the first step to change.
Brainstorm other ways of perceiving the situation.
Although it may be difficult to see at the time, there are often many ways of perceiving the world around us. Brainstorming other ways of perceiving a situation can help restructure our unhelpful thinking.
Take the black-and-white thought “I didn’t receive an A on my assignment, which means I am not smart.” An alternative to this thought might be “If I exceeded on all of my assignments, then I likely wouldn’t learn anything from the feedback I receive.”
Seek professional help.
Sometimes, our pattern of unhelpful thinking can lead us to a point where we might start to feel sad and overwhelmed. Noticing changes in the way that we are feeling can often be a good indicator that we may benefit from seeing a psychologist.
If you feel as though you may benefit from seeing a psychologist, please give us a call on (08) 8432 0007 to discuss what your next step could look like.