Distorted Thinking Patterns

Anxiety is widespread and epidemic. It’s a problem that attacks the body but germinates in the head. Much of our anxiety comes from telling ourselves a bad story. If you change your story, you can change your life. Start by recognizing the voice in your head, listening to what it’s saying, and identifying (and then dumping!) faulty thinking pattern.

Here are few distorted thinking patterns which cause anxiety :

  • Catastrophisizing – When we catastrophize, we anticipate disaster as the only outcome to any given scenario. We always assume the worst.
  • All-OR-Nothing Thinking – It’s easily recognised when we use words, such as always or never, such as “I never win anything”.
  • Unrealistic Standards – When you find yourself often thinking about all the things you “should” or “ought” or “must” do.
  • Overgeneralising – When we take one or two situations and make it into a much bigger thing, like if you get fired and think “story of my life”.
  • Ignoring the Positive – How often do we filter out the good or reassuring facts in a given situations when we are determined to see it badly?
  • Exaggeration – When you brain responds with a thought like, “Oh shoot! I am really am terrible at my job,” you’ve exaggerated a simple mistake.
  • Jumping to Conclusions – Jumping to conclusions happens when we don’t use any facts or evidence before we make up our mind on something.
  • Emotional Reasoning – This is when we go down the thinking trap of “I-feel-it-so-it-must-be-true” and get worked up about something we don’t know yet.
  • Self Blame and Criticism – When you blame and criticise yourself for everything, it’s difficult if not impossible to build confidence.
  • Name Calling – It’s so easy for us to have a harsh and mean inner voice that calls names. Name calling does not motivate us, it only leads us down.
  • Taking Things Personally – By thinking everything is your fault, you take on the responsibility of everyone’s well being around you.
  • Worrying – This is when our brain likes to spiral on what-if’s, getting us nowhere fast. Worrying is a thought pattern that leads us to feeling anxious.

Reference : https://theremoteyogi.blog/2020/05/01/thinking-habits-that-are-anxiety/

11 Comments Add yours

    1. GS says:

      Glad you liked the post Aditi. Recognize and isolate the thought. Absolute words, like ‘always’, ‘never’ or ‘can’t’ are usually clues you’ve got a cognitive distortion going on. So are really strong, negative words directed at yourself like, ‘hate,’ ‘stupid’ or ‘loser.’

      Like

  1. Sidharth Banerjee says:

    Great post!
    Your post also reminds me of the concept of ‘Sage’ and ‘Saboteur’ and how they control our thought process. They both originate from the same place i.e. our mind, yet, during such times we tend to pay more heed to Saboteur than Sage. Being aware of their presence is important as your mind then tries to listen to the Sage on a subconscious level and negate the Saboteur.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      We credit Socrates with the insight that “the unexamined life is not worth living” and that to “know thyself” is the path to true wisdom. But is there a right and a wrong way to go about such self-reflection? Scientific research suggests that you should adopt an ancient rhetorical method favoured by the likes of Julius Caesar and known as illeism – or speaking about yourself in the third person. The term was coined in 1809 by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge from the Latin ille meaning “he, that”. If I was considering an argument that I’d had with a friend, for instance, I might start by silently thinking to myself: “David felt frustrated that…” The idea is that this small change in perspective can clear your emotional fog, allowing you to see past your biases.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sidharth Banerjee says:

        That’s an enlightening theory. I will try this out right away. Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. GS says:

        Cool 🙂

        Like

  2. I struggle at times with all of these faulty thought patterns. I find that by not responding to life with my first thoughts….by giving myself time to think through and temper what I am thinking I can shift to a much more positive mindset. Years of negative family thinking make my natural go to negative but that is changing the more I exercise faith-filled thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      I am so glad Joseph that you are being aware of your thoughts. Mindfulness is a state of complete awareness of the contents of the mind. In this state, you are consciously aware of all thoughts, sensations, and feelings as they arise, as if you are dispassionately watching yourself from a third-person perspective, without investment or judgment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Belladonna says:

    I’m going to share this article with my clients! very good

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Ah I am glad you found this post helpful Bella.

      Liked by 1 person

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