5 Negative Thinking Styles

Most of us are familiar with negative thinking, those nasty thoughts that can convince you things are not well.  Should these thought patterns become persistent, emotional problems like anxiety, depression, and anger can develop, affecting your sense of wellbeing, your relationship(s) and degree happiness and contentment.  Learning how you think is an important step in changing these thinking patterns. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) lists a number of common thinking errors, also called cognitive distorions.

1. Black and White Thinking

This style of thinking has an ‘either-or’ quality about it. For example, if you don’t do well in X, you are then a loser. The key is that there are no shades or areas of grey, it is either one way or another.  Shifting your thoughts to a more realistic perspective is the antidote.

2. Jumping to Conclusions

The thinking error here is that we think we know what someone else is thinking and feeling, particularly when it comes to their perceptions towards us.

3. Catastrophizing

A style of negative thinking is which one tends to think worse-case scenerios, using ‘what if’ statements to consider the multiple negative possibilities of a circumstance.

4. Personalizing

This is a style of negative thinking in which one typically personalizes what others are doing, saying, thinking, and makes it about themselves, usually in a negitive manner. Folks also tend to compare themselves to others.

5. Shoulds

This is like having a list of rules and expectations of others and oneself, ie., I should exercise (and because I don’t, I’m a loser [black and white thinking])

At Waypoint, we know that with a skilled counsellor, many people can learn how to use CBT to change their negative thinking.  Be it depressive thoughts, anxiety, anger or poor self esteem, at Waypoint, we can help you find the best counsellor for your needs.  Check out our team and contact us for a complimentary session to see if the counsellor meets your needs. Don’t know who to choose, then contact George Bielay, our Clinical Director, who can help match you with the best counsellor for your individual needs and style.  And then get working on changing those negative thoughts and begin living your life from a more positive vantage point