Negative Thinking Pattern Alternatives 3

I'm so glad we are identifying alternatives to negative thinking this week. It's important to not only know what you are looking for but what to do to change it. 9. Emotional Reasoning: This is believing what you feel must be true. If you feel stupid, you believe you are stupid. If you feel guilty, you must have done something wrong. You also believe that what others feel about you is true. So if you grew up with a parent who said you are worthless, you believe you are worthless.

Alternative: Challenge your feelings. Realize that our feelings may be valid but they don't always lead us to truth. Unfortunately, our mind can lead us to lies based on our history and the stories we tell ourselves. It's okay to challenge your feelings and offer an alternative, just like you would with a friend. You wouldn't say, "Yeah, you are an idiot because you feel like an idiot." You would say, "You're not an idiot! You just made a mistake."

10. Fallacy of change: This is believing you can change other people if you just try hard enough. This can include demanding or withholding affection or love to get someone to change. This is dangerous because you cannot change anyone but yourself and people usually end up feeling manipulated.

Alternative:  Someone has to want to change for them to change. Remind yourself DAILY that you cannot control other people or what they do or make them want to change. You are only responsible for yourself and you are glad about that. Managing our own lives is challenging enough.

11. Global Labeling: This is when you label something because there may be one grain of truth to it. Someone who cuts in front of you in line must be a complete jerk. Someone doesn't make a donation to your son's boy scout troop so they are a miser with their money. It is placing a global judgement on something or someone because of one instance.

Alternative: Try to believe the best in people. Remind yourself that there could be an alternative to what you are thinking. Maybe they cut in front of you in line because their wife is at home dying of cancer and he is trying to get medicine to her quickly. He's probably got a lot on his mind and maybe didn't notice you there. Maybe someone lost their job and is embarrassed to tell anyone. They couldn't donate because they truly don't have it. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Yes, they could just be oblivious or stingy, but what if they aren't and you are assuming they are? All that does is create negative thinking.

Tomorrow, Joleen will share more alternatives to negative thinking patterns. Thank you for reading and have a great day!

*Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC, LCAC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.