Negative Thinking Patterns

What are negative thinking patterns?

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Your mind limits you by mercilessly picking apart and criticising your every move whilst chewing on the “evidence”. It can second-guess your decision, feed your insecurities and sabotage you. Your mind can keep you stuck or hold you back.

But it doesn’t have to.

By recognising your negative thinking patterns and using positive self-talk, you can make your mind work for you.

Why do negative thinking patterns emerge? 

Your brain is built to remember and focus more on bad experiences to help you survive. This ancient negativity bias is born with us; it is an instinct.

All your memories, beliefs, and attitudes about yourself, others, and the world shaped by family, religion, school, and life experiences affect your thinking patterns. The more negative you have experienced, your brain wants to protect you more. Over time, through the process of neuroplasticity, habitual negative thinking patterns become physical neural traits in your brain. For example, worrying too much makes you anxious. This negative mental filter is typically below your conscious awareness, but it impacts how you respond to the world, act in relationships, think and talk to yourself. In other words, it creates your reality.

The negative thought patterns become the default pathways. As a result, you may find yourself trapped in a downward spiral of anxiety, stress, depression, which your brain is perpetuating in a continual feedback loop.

The Most Common Negative Thinking Patterns:

Black and white thinkingI am the worst.”

Mind reading“They think I’m stupid.”

Future-telling“There’s no point in even trying. I know I’m not going to get the job.”

Over-generalisation“I’m never going to be good at Maths.”

Disqualifying the positive“I may be a decent mother, but anybody can do that.”

Over-reacting“My husband hasn’t replied to my text in 3 hours; he must be cheating on me. Nobody likes me.”

Unrealistic expectations“I have to get straight As. Nothing less is good enough.”

Labelling“ I’m useless.”

Self-blame“The boss looks mad. It must be something I did wrong.”

Catastrophising“Since I can’t pay this bill, my credit rating will go down the tubes, and I’ll lose the house.”

How can therapy help?

In therapy, we challenge your negative thinking patterns, analyse them objectively from all angles. We try to see the issue from a different perspective or observer`s view and collect evidence for its rightness or faulty wires. As a result, we learn to spot, control and change the negative thinking patterns into positive ones.

For more information about how you can change your negative thinking patterns, please get in touch with me.

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