What is Unhelpful Thinking?
Modern life is full of demanding people, places and situations. Unhelpful thinking are the thoughts, emotions or feelings that created in response to those demands, and which do not contribute positively to you or your current situation. Unhelpful thinking may be emotions such as depression, anger, sadness or anxiety, or may be over analyse a situation that should be relatively straight forward.
Unhelpful Thinking can even occur by focusing too much attention on a particular subject or topic which in turn prevents you focusing on something else more important. In all these cases unhelpful thinking is usually preceded by any number of unhelpful self statements about you, a situation, other people, even objects or things. Unhelpful thinking is closely associated with Low Self Esteem or Poor Self Image.
People tend to develop an Unhelpful Thinking Style over a long period of time and it is for this reason that Unhelpful Thinking is sometimes referred to as Chronic Negative Thinking Habits. Unhelpful Thinking is exacerbated by over exposure to negative or sensationalistic news media and it is for this reason that people who feel they have an Unhelpful Thinking Style should consider a Media Fast in order to help improve their conscious mental outlook.
Negative Thinking Patterns can also often be triggered by situations. For example, washing the dishes or ironing, where a physical activity being undertaken whilst in a bad mood or whilst focused on an upsetting situation, is then associated with the Unhelpful Thinking Style.
Negative or Unhelpful Thinking continued or habituated over a long period of time can cause you significant emotional distress, prevent you from finding bliss or happiness and even hinder you from achieving your aspirations and full potential in life.
How to Notice Unhelpful Thinking
Unhelpful Thinking often occurs before or during distressing situations, prolonged stress or pressure, or during times of significant change in your life. Once you can notice them, then that can help you to challenge or distance yourself from those thoughts, and see the situation in a different and more helpful way.
The most important thing for addressing Unhelpful Thinking is to identify when you are actually thinking in an unhelpful manner. In order to identify when your thinking is not contributing positively to your situation you need to know what constitutes Unhelpful Thinking. When you can identify what an unhelpful thinking style is you will start to notice when you are doing it.
There are many particular Unhelpful Thinking Styles but the more common ones are listed here at Unhelpful Thinking Styles. They are classified according to the dominant process involved in the thinking style, be it Predicting Outcomes, Focusing on Past Memories, or Catastrophizing.