7. Jumping to Negative Conclusions:
We assume that our interpretation of how an event will work out negatively is right, despite how no strong evidence to support us.
We take one characteristic of a person and apply it to the person as a whole. If we are late to work a few times we may call ourselves irresponsible. If a friend fails a test we may call them dumb.
You take responsibility for something that has gone wrong, regardless of whether there’s no basis for you do to so.
When something goes wrong and we don’t want to have to deal with it, blaming removes the responsibility from our shoulders onto someone else’s. When the responsibility is no longer ours, we no longer need to try and understand the behaviors or decisions that led to the problem.
How do I combat my thinking errors?
Maybe you’re reading this and feeling a little overwhelmed because you’ve tried to take steps to improve your feelings and nothing seems to work. If you are in that category, here’s is a helpful process to both get clarity on what thoughts are upsetting you, and take the steps to challenge them.
Like anything in life, these steps will take some work. You don’t get fit from one session at the gym and your mind won’t feel perfect after one trial of this process.
Keep coming back to it.
Write down the thought or situation that is causing you to feel upset. E.g. I responded to a conversation with my wife stressfully.
Write down how the situation you experienced has made you feel. E.g. Disappointed, Frustrated, Incapable of changing my responses.
Write down the thoughts that are going through your mind. E.g. I always responded with far more stress than is required, she must hate that I always respond poorly, I need to hurry up and learn to be on top of my stress levels, I’m an idiot for letting stress dictate my response.
Based on the above responses, write what your internal beliefs must be. E.g. A relaxed person never responds with stress, Stress is never acceptable.
5. Thinking Errors
Write down what thinking errors you have are making. E.g. overgeneralising, black & white thinking, should statements, mind-reading, catastrophic thinking
Write down a challenge to the thoughts that you’re having. Another way to interpret this situation.
E.g. Just because you have responded with stress a little more than lately does not make you a stressed person. The very fact that you have observed your responses haven’t been good 100% of the time is an excellent place to start focussing on improving your responses. Next time I notice myself feeling stressed in a conversation, I will use that as an opportunity to breathe deeply and respond with patience and kindness.
7. Positive Actions
Write down some steps you would like to take to improve your situation.
E.g. I am going to use this as an opportunity to become the master of stress-free living. I am going to take some time to observe my responses over the next few weeks and write a note in my journal each night about the progress of my responses.
Please share this article with anyone who you may think will find it valuable and helpful.
From Tyson Popplestone