The way we think has an impact on our moods. Change your thinking and your mood will change. Try and identify these faulty thinking patterns in your own thinking.
1. SHOULD STATEMENTS: You criticize yourself or other people with ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’. ‘Must’, ‘ought’ and ‘have to’ are similar offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When you direct ‘should’ statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration and resentment.
2. ALL-OR-NOTHING. You look at things in absolute, black and white categories.
3. OVERGENERALIZATION. You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat. Key words are ‘always’ and ‘never’.
4. MENTAL FILTER. You dwell on the negatives and ignore the positives.
5. DISQUALIFYING THE POSITIVE. You insist that your accomplishments or positive qualities ‘don’t count’.
6. JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS:
a. Mind Reading: You presume that someone is reacting negatively to you when there’s no definite evidence for this.
b. Fortune Telling: You arbitrarily predict that things will turn out badly.
7. MAGNIFICATION OR MINIMIZATION: You blow things way out of proportion or you shrink their importance inappropriately. This is also called the ‘binocular effect’.
8. EMOTIONAL REASONING: You reason from how you feel. ‘I feel like an idiot, so I really must be one’. Or ‘I don’t feel like doing this, so I’ll put it off.’
9. LABELLING AND MISLABELING. This is an extreme form of overgeneralization. You identify with your shortcomings. Instead of saying ‘I made a mistake’, you tell yourself, ‘I’m a loser’, or ‘a fool’.
10. PERSONALIZATION AND BLAME: You blame yourself for something you were not entirely responsible for, or you blame other people and overlook ways that your own attitudes and behavior might contribute to a problem.
Click here for a pdf of this list that you can print.
Click here for some detailed examples.