Stress comes from our perception of the situation. Technically, the actual situation is not stressful; it is our perception that makes it stressful.
Here are some common unhelpful patterns of thinking that we all make as well as ways you can think about challenging these
- Overgeneralising – You see a constant, negative pattern based on on event.
- Blaming/Denying – You blame others for your problems or mistakes or you blame yourself when it wasn’t entirely your fault.
- Should – You have a rigid code of conduct dictating how you and others should behave. You criticise yourself harshly when you fail to follow these rules.
- All or nothing thinking – You see things as absolutes, no grey areas.
- Negativity Bias – You notice all of the negatives, but fail to notice the positives.
- Catastrophizing : You expect the worst.
- Labeling : You label yourself negatively.
- Magical Thinking : You think everything will be better when ____ (you’re thinner, smarter, richer, get a new job, etc).
- Over personalising : You make things personal, when they aren’t. You believe other people’s opinions are facts. You think what other people do/say is in reaction to you.
- Mind-reading : You make assumptions about what you are thinking.
- Double standard : You hold yourself to a higher standard then everyone else.
- Fallacy of fairness : You think things should work out according to what you think is fair.
- Emotional reasoning : You think your feelings are reality.
Take on the daily challenge of recognising and changing these cognitive distortions. By changing our negative thinking, we may find ourselves worrying less and enjoying life more.