Almost everyone experiences distorted thinking at one time or another. Simply put, distorted thinking can be defined as negative thought patterns that fuel negative emotions. While they are very common, the trick is to recognize when you are experienced distorted thinking so that you can change the way that you are thinking. Here are some common examples of distorted thinking that may be stopping you from thriving.
All-or-nothing thinking can also be called black-and-white thinking as something is either right or its wrong. This type of thinking causes one to think in extremes as they either see something as positive or extremely negative. It encourages people to seek a level of absolute perfection that is impossible to achieve. Instead of saying you are one thing or another, try saying you are blank and blank. Changing just one little word can sometimes stop this thinking pattern.
When emotions are fueled by just one experience, then a person has overgeneralized a situation by applying it to many situations. Therefore, overgeneralized thinking can often have a very negative impact on one’s willingness to try new experiences. Asking one if the strong emotions tied to an event are realistic can sometimes stop this thinking pattern.
Stop and think for a moment about a glass of water and you are putting a drop of food coloring in it. Soon, the whole glass of water is the color of the food dye. The same thing happens when you pick out one negative event and dwell on it to the point where you exclude all positive experiences. It often causes a person to see all the negatives in an event, so they never see the positives. Often, journaling about the positives of a situation can help you see them.
If you practice this type of distorted thinking, then you disqualify all the positive things that happen for one reason or another. You deeply internalize every negative event that happens, however, as a personal flaw. Often making a list of positive past successes helps one overcome this type of thinking because it gives you concrete data points to consider.
If you do not wait until all the facts have been collected before you arrive at a conclusion, then you are experiencing this type of distorted thinking. You may have seen the illustration of two arrows with the head of one pointing inward and the other pointing outward. You automatically assume that the one pointing outward is longer. Yet, the arrows are the same length. Keeping this illustration in front of you is a great way to stop jumping to a conclusion as it reminds you to gather the facts before deciding.
There are many different types of distorted thinking. They all can stop you from thriving in life. Therefore, you need to see a counselor in Orlando to train your brain to think in new ways. Call Orlando Thrive Therapy to set up an appointment to see a counselor in Orlando today.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.