Unhelpful Thinking Styles – Part II


In the previous post, I discussed 3 out of 10 unhelpful thinking styles: mental filter, jumping to conclusions and personalization.  In this post, we will discuss 3 more unhelpful thinking styles.  If you recognize yourself in doing any of these, then you might be human!  Best way to change these around to your benefit is to be aware of when you are using them.  When we recognize something, then we get to determine if we want to change it or not.  Onward ho to the next three unhelpful thinking styles!

4. Catastrophising.

Do you find yourself making something bigger than it actually is?  Then you are catastrophising.  An example may be: “Oh no!  My child scratched his/her knee on the playground.  What if this scratch turns into something more serious!  I must take him/her to the Emergency Room!”  A scratch does not mean that the child needs to attend the Emergency Room where you will pay $200-500 just for a band-aid.  This example represents how something so miniscule can be blown out of proportion very quickly.  When we reach catastrophising, it seems that anything and everything is out of our control.  Relax, take a few deep breaths and realize it is not the end of the world.

5. Black and White Thinking.

It’s either all or nothing, black and white… no in between.  Actually, there are in between areas, it’s just that we choose to not see it when we work ourselves into black and white thinking.  All in between areas get thrown out the window.  An example of black and white thinking is: “I received a C on my mid-term exam.  I am no good, I might as well quit now, since future attempts would be futile.”  Just because you received a C does not mean that you failed at school or life.  One way to look at this C is needs for improvement, not automatic failure.  Unfortunately, some of us look at mistakes as life threatening and quit all together to avoid future mistakes.  This kind of thinking is unhelpful and will definitely hold you back from your potential.

6. “Shoulding” and “Musting”

“I should” or “I must” statements are unreasonable demands that you place on yourself.  I admit to using this unhelpful thinking style a lot.  An example of “shoulding” and “musting” is: “I should have taken care of my to do list (15 items) yesterday.  I can’t believe that I did not get them done!  Now I have more items to add to the list and I am feeling exhausted.  Screw it, I’ll get them done tomorrow.”  First off, having 15 items on your to do list can cause anxiety.  Examine your to do list and see if all of them are reasonable.  Are there some items that can hold off for another week?  Are there items that involve other individuals in completing the task?  Taking the tasks apart and not viewing them as a whole can assist in completing them.  Allow yourself flexibility and feelings of accomplishment when they get done, on their timeline, not necessarily on yours.

Stay tuned for the last four unhelpful thinking styles!  Have you noticed yourself in any of these thus far?  If so, which ones and how have you been able to turn your thinking around?

Unhelpful Thinking Styles – Part I

Unhelpful Thinking Styles - Part 1There are 10 unhelpful thinking styles that Centre for Clinical Interventions (www.cci.health.wa.gov.au) describes that we experience when we are feeling an unhelpful emotion, such as depression or anxiety.  In this post, we will look at the first 3 unhelpful thinking styles.  As you read this post and the preceding two posts about the thinking styles, you will find that some of the styles overlap and that you may have experienced a style one time or another.

1. Mental Filter.

This thinking style can also be considered “tunnel vision”.  Mental filter occurs when you focus on a specific word or phrase and ignore the rest of what was mentioned.  For example, let’s say your boss examines and critiques a project that you completed.  Your boss gives high praises and shows authentic interest in your work, but when he/she mentions that the project could use more research information or should have been turned in a week ago , you ignore all the positives and focus on the negatives.  If you continue to focus on the negative aspects of the critique, your mood may and often does, decrease.  Take the tunnel vision off and view the communication with all aspects – positives and negatives before determining how to react.

2. Jumping to Conclusions.

Do you find yourself often coming up with conclusions or solutions before receiving all the information?  There are two ways that we jump to conclusions: mind reading and predictive thinking.  Mind reading is when you make assumptions that are based on you.  For example, if a friend yawns while having a discussion with you, you may interpret that what you are saying is “boring”.  We tend to jump to this conclusion when we are feeling and thinking of ourselves.  Any other time, you may interpret the yawn as the individual needing oxygen to the brain (in actuality).  When you use predictive thinking, you are predicting what will happen.  One of the biggest predictive thinking statements that I hear from my clients is “I already know what they will say if I was to call them.  They will just yell and cuss at me.”  That may be a valid possibility, but you are already setting yourself up for failure before even attempting the phone call.  Check in with your emotions before jumping to conclusions – it will help you from the fall.

3. Personalization.

Personalization is largest from ages 3-5, when the world revolves around the child.  However, even as adults we can slip into personalization at times.  For example, your child may have received a C in one of his/her classes at school.  You may think “It is my fault that he/she did not study more”, “I should have assisted my child better” or “I’m a failure as a parent”.  Having these thoughts can be detrimental, because you are allowing yourself to take total responsibility for external events.  What were you going to do… take the test for your child?  Taking full 100% responsibility for someone else action is a huge burden and unproductive.  Take a load off and allow yourself to solely accept ownership of what you have in control will lessen the guilt and disappointment.

Read more with Part II soon!

Do You Tithe?

Are You A Tither?

This is a question that my friends and I often talk about. Will GOD not give you all that your heart desire if you do not tithe? Many people feel that you are to give 10% of your total income back to GOD through your church. We often contemplate on ways to tithe. Many of my friends are single parents and barely have enough money to cover their monthly expenses, so how are they going to give GOD 10% of their income? I struggled with that notion for many years and have come to this conclusion. Yes you should tithe 10% but it doesn’t have to be all in money. You can tithe with your time, by serving others. There was a time when I couldn’t tithe and my pastor taught a sermon about tithing with your time. He stated that GOD owns it all and doesn’t need money. He suggested that we can tithe by serving either in the church or helping others. I now serve almost weekly at my church. For a while, I was able to tithe 10% of my income, but lately my finances has change. However, I know that GOD will continue to bless me because I am his child not because I am a tither.

Do You Feel Distant from Your Family?

Do You Feel Distant From Your Family?

As we grow older in life, our views on life and people change. We have friends that may come and go, but how do you deal with your family?  The one thing you can’t change in life is your family and it can be the most challenging part of your life.  As the saying goes ” there is a time and season for everything” and it can hold true for your family. Sometimes our family issues can be overwhelming to handle and we need to take a break from them. You don’t want to get into a situation where there is so much negativity and turmoil that causes months or years of un-rest and non-communication. The best thing for you to do is to put yourself and your health first. It’s okay to stay at a safe distance from your family so you can process what is going on within yourself and see how it is affecting your reaction to your love ones. Sometimes our issues are not just the inconsistencies of our family, but the uncertainty within ourselves. Once you are at a place in your life where your are happy with yourself you can being to allow others in.

If you are having difficulties with yourself and/or your family, please give me a call so I can assist you with navigating your way back to your true self.



Do You Know GOD’S Voice?

Do You Hear GOD'S Voice?

Have you ever felt that GOD doesn’t hear your prayers? Some of us even feel that GOD is not directing us on the right path.  This is so far from the truth. GOD hears and sees all and talks to each and every one of us. So why do you think GOD does not speak to you?

It took me a long time to realize that GOD has always been there for me and has been talking to me. I remember saying when something went wrong, “my gut or my intuition told me not to do that”. I now know that it was GOD talking to me. I think he has a funny sense of humor as to allow me to learn the hard way when I didn’t listen to him. I am still a work in progress but I listen and trust him when he tells me to do or not do something. I no longer question him even when I disagree with it.

If you are unsure if GOD is speaking to you, try talking to him. You don’t have to start with a long prayer or wait until the end of the day when you get on your knees to pray. He is with you 24/7! You can talk to him while you are working, eating, or hanging with friends. Once you take the time to listen to him, you would experience less heartache, heartbreak or a hard time in life.

My mother always said, “If you continue to do the same thing, you will get the same result”. So try something different today, try talking to GOD and listen to what he has to say. He will not steer you in the wrong direction.

Love ME for ME

Love ME for ME

Do you love your child just the way they are? Are you a parent that builds their child up or is breaking their child down? Building your child up can be difficult if your parents did not model that for you. A lot of the times we will do what we saw our parents do. If you are finding yourself breaking your child’s spirit I want to urge you to give us a call. Every parent wants the best for their children, but if we don’t have the skills and the knowledge to provide positive parenting we can end up hurting our child in the end.

Here is an example that you can think about: you son spills his dinner drink almost every night. How do your respond? Do you yell, “You can’t get anything right! You are always making a mess! What is wrong with you?! Or do you say, “Everyone makes mistakes. Grab a rag and clean up”. Do you see the difference? One will tear a child down and make them feel like an invisible person while the other builds them up and lets them know that you love them just the way they are. If you feel that you fall in the first category please give me a call. I know it can be embarrassing, but we are not here to judge your situation but to help you! We offer a free 30 minute face to face consultation to see if we would be a good fit.