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Do you think you overthink?

We all think; all of the time, all day long, every hour, every minute and even every second, so no wonder we can often find ourselves overthinking! A lot of our thinking can also be going on outside of our awareness, so even when we think we have ‘switched off’ our thinking, we probably haven’t.

Those of us that class ourselves as real ‘thinkers’ may often find ourselves, at times, feeling like we have created our own mental prison.

Is this how you feel at times? What are these thoughts that can keep you trapped and unhappy?

Do you ever consider your own thinking style, your patterns of thinking?

Based on the theory of CBT, (Cognitive Behavioral Theory) below are some of the common thinking errors that we have, possible traps! I will look at four of these thinking errors below…

1. Catastrophising – We can find ourselves doing this by assuming that a situation is going to be bad, that the outcome of the situation is going to be negative rather than positive. The worst case scenario is where we take our minds. When we find ourselves catastrophising, our ability to recognize that we CAN deal with situations and that we are capable can escape us!

2. Generalisation – We might find ourselves saying things like, ‘This always happens to me!’ ‘I should have known this is just typical of me’. You may also find yourself using words like, ‘never’ and ‘always’, which are signs of generalisation, which will affect your ability to think clearly and more positively.

3. Mind Reading – This is when we are likely to be projecting our fears and thoughts onto other people, making assumptions that we can read their minds. ‘They don’t like me’, ‘They think I can’t cope’ are the things we might hear ourselves saying when we are mind reading others around us.

4. Polarised and Rigid thinking – This is when things are either ‘black or white’ and we forget about that whole grey bit in the middle. We may have a very definite idea of what will happen; again we are predicting the future using two options, ‘black or white’.

Give yourself a break from thinking errors!

These thinking errors can keep us stuck in a process of negative thinking. If you find yourself in any of these situations, thinking in these ways, then maybe you need to give your mind some more freedom to imagine that things can be different and believe that you have the capability to be in control of situations and ultimately in control of your own life.

Our next blog will cover another four types of thinking errors that you may also find yourself falling into the trap of using, especially at times of stress.

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"Please note that this blog post was provided by Healthy Minds and although based on real people, different names have been used, where requested, by those sharing their stories."

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