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How To Squash These 3 Common Negative Thought Patterns

How To Squash These 3 Common Negative Thought Patterns

Thoughts swirl around our mind like ducks in a pond. Some of them are good thoughts. Others could be bad. But at the end of the day, they are our own thoughts. A negative thought here and there isn’t bad. But when negative thoughts begin to take a pattern in how you visualize and perceive things, then it can start to diminish your quality of life.


It is very important to catch yourself when you have negative thoughts and observe them. Oftentimes, our thoughts and inner voice are reacting to our current situation and mood. Pay attention to what triggers your negative thinking, whether it be a certain person or situation. It can show you more about yourself than you think.


There are several negative thought patterns displayed by individuals. We have narrowed it down to the top 3 that we see everyday in human behavior. Understand these negative thought behaviors so you can quickly fix them if you catch yourself falling in the pattern.

All-Or-Nothing Mentality

What is it?

You either have success or a failure. A 100 or a 0.  Your performance was totally good or totally bad. There is absolutely no in-between. You view everything as black and white.

Example

Josh goes to an interview and thinks he does great. After not hearing back for a few weeks, Josh starts to think that he did terribly at the interview and he will never get a job like that ever in his life.

How to fix

Understand that some things aren’t supposed to go exactly your way and focus on the positive outcomes. It is okay to fail sometimes, just get back up and move forward.

Should & Must Mindset

What is it?

Thinking that you “should” or “must” do a certain task or feel a certain way. This negative thought pattern puts unnecessary stress on us by putting us in a self-deprecating thinking process where if we feel like we must do something and we don’t do it, we feel like a complete failure.

Example

Anne gets anxious whenever she is driving. Every time she gets in her vehicle, she thinks “everybody else can drive fine, I should drive fine too” and “I’m a grown adult. I should be able to drive without feeling this way.” This is a prime example of negative self-talk.

How to fix

Replace your should's and must's with more positive affirmations that allow you to be more optimistic with your thinking. Don’t feel like you have to do something. Feel like you can do something. This small change will get your thinking on track for positive growth.

Discrediting The Positive

What is it?

Not being able to see things with a positive perception. Instead, you minimize or discredit things that happen in your life. A common trait of this thinking pattern is that what happens to you “doesn’t count” as a good thing in your life experience.

Example

You did well on your activity and look at it like you “just got lucky that time” instead of appreciating your achievements. Or you receive a very nice compliment from someone and think “they’re just being nice to me, they don’t mean that.”

How to fix

Next time you have a negative thought, observe it. Focus on the thought and understand why you are thinking negatively. Oftentimes, our negative thoughts stem from our current life situation. So if you’re stressed and anxious, your thoughts will reflect those feelings.

Conclusion

Once you know how to stop negative thought patterns, it is easier to see more positivity in your life. Start being more aware of your thoughts and when your thinking just isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. This can tell us more about how we are dealing with life and what the next steps may be.

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