Unhelpful Thinking Patterns

No 2 and 3: Unhelpful Thinking Patterns

Welcome! I am including No 2 and 3 together only because my limited technical expertise meant that my blog last week wasn't saved and posted! We are looking at patterns of thinking that are unhelpful becasue they get in the way of us making changes, feeling happier or actually cause anxiety.

No 2 is Catastrophising/Awfulising -this is when you rather blow things out of proportion, which increases anger, anxiety or helplessness. There is an over estimating the chances of disaster or assuming there is nothing you can do to change the situation. Common statements are, ‘I can’t stand it’, ‘this is totally unacceptable’. I can catastrophise at times, usually for comedic effect, but it can cause feelings of anxiety if we're not careful and can certainly lead to getting things way out of proportion.

If we are stuck in a traffic jam, does it help to Awfulise? Will we really lose our job if we are late? Will it really ruin our whole day? It may feel unacceptable, but is is it really that important?

No 3 is Mental Filtering. This is whenyou seize a negative fragment of a situation and dwell on it. It is like wearing a special lens that filters out everything positive. You soon conclude that everything is negative. This can become a habit just like practising noticing the positives can become a habit instead.

If you are a pretty contented person, chances are you have a habit of filtering out the negatives and focusing on what is going well or what you are grateful for. Two people look forward to a day off and going rowing. It is raining on the day and both get soaked. When they return and recount the day to friends in the pub, one mentions the rain the cold and the mud and how at one point they almost lost an oar. The other recounts the people they met, the otter they saw and how the river smells fresher in the rain. All things were accurate, but only one enjoyed the day out.

As always laugh at yourself if you are prone to any of the above and perhaps begin to change your thinking if you notice it means you are missing out.

Have a good weekend.


No 4: Automatic Discounting

Posted by olwen on June 3 2019 at 20:23

Welcome to blog number 4 in the Unhelpful Thinking Patterns series.This week is Automatic Discounting. One instance of this is the way we always brush aside a compliment. 'He’s just being nice’. A bit of depressive thinking going on here to some extent; some version of ‘I’m second rate’ or ‘I’m not good enough. ‘If they really knew me, they wouldn’t say these nice things about me’. Imagine for a moment the compliments are true. What difference would it make to the way you behave? The more compliments we accept, the more confident we feel and the more likely to try and make changes, even small ones.

Have a good week,


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