Unhelpful thinking patterns

The way we think about different events or situations can really affect how we feel, and we can characterise our thinking patterns as either helpful, neutral, or unhelpful.  It’s not surprising that people who generally have unhelpful thinking patterns (e.g. thinking things like “I can’t do this”, “nothing ever goes right for me”) are likely to feel worse than those who have more positive thoughts…

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So let’s take a moment to look at some of the most common unhelpful thinking patterns that can occur, and that are often associated with anxiety:

These unhelpful thinking patterns don’t always occur in isolation, and they often overlap.

For example, “I made a mistake; I feel so useless… they all think I’m stupid” could be an example of Black & White thinking, Mind Reading, Filtering and Emotional Reasoning.  Knowing what these unhelpful patterns are, and being able to spot these types of thoughts as they occur is the first step to being able to change things.

So what can we do about our unhelpul thoughts, when we spot them? The NEXT SECTION teaches you some evidence-based techniques for tackling unhelpful thinking.

Look after yourself and seek help, if you need it.