negative thinking patterns

Negative Thinking Pattern Alternatives 2

Self-talk is so important! How we speak to ourselves determines how we feel and how we act. If we believe negative things, then naturally, we'll feel negative as well. This is why it is so important to fight against these negative thinking patterns. Here are the alternatives: 5. Catastrophizing: You expect disaster. You notice or hear about a problem and start “what if’s”. What if tragedy strikes? What if it happens to you?

Alternative: "I'm going to stay in the moment. I cannot control what happens in the future. If I worry about things that may or may not occur in the future, I lose out on things that are going on right now in the present".

6. Personalization: Thinking that everything people do or say is some kind of reaction to you. You also compare yourself to others, trying to determine who’s smarter, better looking, etc.

Alternative: "Each of us has special talents and abilities, including myself. There are going to be people who are better at some things than I am, but this does not determine my self-worth. Other people do not determine my value & if I keep comparing myself to others, I will feel inadequate. I determine my self-value. Instead of comparing myself to others, I am going to focus on my own talents and abilities.

7. Control Fallacies: If you feel externally (outside) controlled, you see yourself as helpless & a victim of fate. The fallacy of internal (inside) control has you responsible for the pain and happiness of everyone around you.

Alternative:  "I am not a helpless victim. I cannot control others, but I can take care of myself and take responsibility for the relationships or situations I choose to be a part of."  (For Fallacy of  Internal Control) "I can only take responsibility for myself, which is 50% of any relationship that I am in. I am in charge of my emotions, not anyone else's".

8. Fallacy of Fairness: You feel resentful because you think you know what’s fair, but other people won’t agree with you.

Alternative: " Maybe I don't know what's fair. I need to be open to other people's opinions too."

Written by: Tamara Portee MA, LMHC, LCAC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counselingat Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.

Negative Thinking Patterns Part 2

Today we're continuing our discussion on unhealthy thinking patterns. We may not be aware that we're doing these, but it's very helpful to recognize them because these thinking patterns can interfere in communication, and the way we interact with others. 5. Catastrophizing: You expect disaster. You notice or hear about a problem and start "what if's". What if tragedy strikes? What if it happens to you?

6. Personalization: Thinking that everything people do or say is some kind of reaction to you. You also compare yourself to others, trying to determine who's smarter, better looking, etc.

7. Control Fallacies: If you feel externally (outside) controlled, you see yourself as helpless & a victim of fate. The fallacy of internal (inside) control has you responsible for the pain and happiness of everyone around you.

8. Fallacy of Fairness: You feel resentful because you think you know what's fair, but other people won't agree with you.

Please keep reading as we have 7 more negative patterns to identify. Thanks for reading!

Written by: Tamara Portee MA, LMHC, LCAC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counselingat Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.

Mind Over Mood- Alternative Thoughts

This week we are talking about how to challenge your thinking rather than making assumptions that can possibly lead to a negative mood. In order to follow, it will be helpful to go back and read the previous blogs. Previously, we talked about when you are in a situation, you will have automatic thoughts about it (Tuesday's blog). These thoughts could lead you into a negative place, thus a negative mood. After identifying the thought, it is important to look at the evidence that supports or does not support your thought (Wednesday's blog). Today we will talk about creating an alternative thought based on the evidence you have provided yourself.

Creating an alternative thought is when the evidence that you gathered does NOT support your original automatic thought. You will want to create an alternative explanation for the situation. Now this isn't just replacing a negative thought with a positive thought. This is actually looking at evidence and seeing that there may be an alternative explanation.

After creating the alternative thought, give it a percent value of how much you believe this could be a possibility. (You will see this in my example below).

To further explain an alternative thought, let's continue with the explanation with Patty that we have used all week.

At this point, Patty has gone through her automatic thoughts and gathered evidence to support or not support her thoughts. To create her alternative thought, based on her evidence, her internal dialog may go something like this:

"Based on the fact that Jenny is always rushed because of her work schedule and raising 4 kids, I believe 100% that she just needed to keep moving. She knew she was going to see me tomorrow when we have lunch and that we could chat then." AND "Additionally, Jenny has a hard time disappointing people, so she probably would have felt bad waving and then not stopping to talk or to cut the conversation short. That would explain why she just kept moving." 100% OR "I do know she can be oblivious sometimes and in her own little world. I truly believe 100% that it is possible she didn't see me! And she didn't have her glasses on, which makes this more believable!" 100%

You can see how any of these explanations are reasonable to Patty and actually believable. She believed each one could be possible 100%!

Alternative thoughts give us a wider view of the situation rather than seeing it one way, our way. Alternative thinking is often more positive.

Good luck seeking alternative thoughts. It can be very freeing to realize there are other ways to see things than just the negative or OUR way!

Now tomorrow Joleen is going to help us see how creating alternative thoughts actually changes our mood. Thank you for reading this week!

Source: Mind Over Mood by Dennis Greenberger & Christine Padesky

Written by Natalie Chandler

Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC 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

Negative Thinking Pattern Alternatives 3

Here are three more alternative to use when caught up in a negative thinking pattern: 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: "My feelings are not fact. My feelings are powerful, however they do not make up my total character & personality. If someone else believes a certain way about me, that is their opinion, and I can choose to agree or disagree". 

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: "I can only change myself. If I try to change someone else, I will only create distance between myself and this person b/c they will feel controlled. I need to face the reality of my own limitations and focus on taking care of myself versus manipulating others".

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: "I'll cut this person some slack. I know there have been times when I haven't acted myself and have acted out-of-character. I'll give them a pass and see what happens next time I run into them".

Stay tuned as Joleen has 4 more alternatives to present. Thanks for reading!

Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.