Unhelpful Thinking Styles
Unhelpful Thinking Styles & How To Change Them
Our Psychological training programmes help to identify and change ‘Unhelpful Thinking Styles’ through the use of a range of practical tools and exercises.
But what actually are unhelpful thinking styles?
We have identified a number of these thinking patterns that contribute to limiting beliefs and negative outcomes. When you follow the Thrive Programme you will systematically work through a chapter dedicated to these styles, and by taking a short test for each individual ‘mode’ of thinking quickly identify if you tend to think this way or not.
The most significant unhelpful thinking styles are:
- Catastrophising – Making mountains out of molehills
- All or Nothing Thinking – Ignoring the middle-ground
- Fortune Telling – Trying to predict the future
- Mind Reading – I know what you’re thinking!
- Emotional Reasoning – Feelings aren’t facts
- Overgeneralising – Always, Never and Everybody
- Labelling – Successful / Failure
- Imperative Thinking – I need to, I have to and I must
- Confirmation Bias – He didn’t mean I was good because I know I’m not
- Processing Positive Experiences – I didn’t really deserve that Nobel Prize
- Low Frustration Tolerance – It’s too hard I can’t stand it / I can take it I’m worth it
- Personalisation – it’s always my fault when things go wrong
Each of these unhelpful thinking styles ‘develop’ over the years, sometimes they are learnt from significant others in our early development, but in almost all cases they have simply become an ‘habitual’ way of thinking and as with any other habit, they CAN be changed with a little time and effort.
Unhelpful Thinking Styles Explained
All of the unhelpful thinking styles that we address at TranceForm are really nothing more than ‘habitual’ forms of thinking. In other words, despite the fact that each particular style may have been adopted in order to ‘make sense’ of a situation, or perhaps developed to be able to cope with an unpleasant feeling, the chances are that the original ‘need’ for this type of thinking has long since gone, but the thinking style has remained.
In fact, it has simply become a habit that happens ‘automatically’ without the need to consciously ‘engage’ the style in the first place.
Recognising this can be extremely helpful as research shows, quite clearly, that habits can be changed relatively easily by applying (1) active management of the unhelpful thinking style, and (2) substitution with a more helpful alternative.
These thinking styles can be replaced, through repetition, with new and more useful thinking.
Why Managing Unhelpful Thinking is Useful
What most people don’t realise is that the vast majority of emotions that we experience, almost regardless of what those emotions are, are ‘created’ as a direct consequence of a thought (or cognition) in our minds.
This is the basic premise of ‘cognitive’ interventions – the idea that emotions and behaviours are the direct result of a thought.
Whilst it IS true that some emotions are capable of being expressed without a conscious thought, the vast majority of emotional response are indeed caused by ‘thinking’ something first.
Crucially, therefore, the most effective way of changing the way that we ‘feel’ is to change the way that we think, and this is the cornerstone of the basic principles of Cognitive programmes such as Changing Limiting Beliefs.