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Unhelpful Thinking Styles

The types of thinking listed below can have a negative impact on your mental health. It is important to be able to identify which of these thinking patterns might be a habit.

  • All or Nothing Thinking: If something isn’t perfect, this thinker thinks of it as failure. (Example: Either I do it right or not at all.)
  • Over-generalizing: This thinker draws big conclusions based on one thought or event. (Example: Nothing good ever happens.)
  • Mental Filter: This thinker pays attention to one type of evidence. (Example: Someone that notices failures but not successes.)
  • Disqualifying the Positive: The focus of this thinker is on discounting the good things that have happened.
  • Jumping to Conclusions – Mind Reading: This thinker imagines that they know what others are thinking.
  • Jumping to Conclusions – Fortune Telling: This thinker tries to predict the future.
  • Magnification: This thinker has a habit of blowing things out of proportion.
  • Minimization: This thinker inappropriately shrinks something to make it seem less important than it should be.
  • Emotional Reasoning: Feeling a certain way causes this thinker to believe something that isn’t true. (Example: I feel embarrassed so I must be dumb.)
  • Critical Words: Using critical words like “should”, “must”, or “ought” can make this thinker feel guilty. This causes these thinkers to feel like they have failed at something before ever starting.
  • Labeling: This thinker assigns labels to themselves or others. (Example: “I am a loser.” “They are so mean.”)
  • Personalization: This thinker tends to constantly blame themselves for things outside of their control. This thinker can also do the reverse, which is blaming everyone else.

This information can be found at Psychology Tools.