Change your thinking habits

18 Jul 2019 Written by amyholgate

Change your thinking habits

Sometimes it can help your mental wellbeing to reflect on your thought processes. Are any of these thinking styles familiar? Start challenging them – you may see situations in a more positive way.

Trying to mind-read

You assume you know what others are thinking – usually about you.

What you could think: What’s the evidence? Those are my own thoughts, not theirs. Is there another, more balanced, way of looking at it?

Predicting the future

You believe you know what’s going to happen in the future.

What you could think: Can I really predict the future? How likely is it that this might happen, really?

Thinking “I should” or “I must”

You set up unrealistic expectations.

What you could think: Am I putting more pressure on myself? What would be more realistic?


You imagine and believe that the worst possible thing will happen.

What you could think: What’s actually most likely to happen?

Ignoring the positives

You only notice the bad stuff and filter out the positives.

What you could think: Am I only focusing on the bad things? What’s more realistic?

Exaggerating the negatives

You exaggerate the risk of danger, or the negatives.

What you could think: How would someone else see it? What’s the big picture?

Jumping to conclusions

Rather than observing the facts, you make your own judgements.

What you could think: My judgements are not always right or helpful. What are the facts? Is there another perspective?

Comparing and despairing

You see only the good and positive aspects in others, and compare yourself negatively against them.

What you could think: What would be a more balanced, helpful way of looking at it?

Criticising yourself

You put yourself down and blame yourself for situations that are not totally your responsibility.

What you could think: There goes the internal bully again. Would people who know me agree? Am I totally responsible for this?

Black and white thinking

You believe that something or someone can only be good or bad, right or wrong, rather than somewhere in between.

What you could think: There are shades of grey. Where’s this
on the spectrum?

Making the past present

When situations trigger upsetting memories, you believe that danger is here and now rather than in the past.

What you could think: This memory makes me feel upset, but it’s not happening now.


Get support

Do you need some help with your negative thoughts?