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Types of Negative Thinking

Identifying your negative thinking is the first step towards letting it go. These are the common types of negative thinking. There is overlap among them, but giving each type a name makes it easier to remember them. (If you do any more reading in cognitive therapy, you may come across the term “distorted thinking.” Some authors use that term instead of negative thinking. But it sounds harsh.)



The Big Four Types of Negative Thinking

All-or- Nothing Thinking. I have to do things perfectly, because anything less than perfect is a failure.

Disqualifying the Positives. Life feels like one disappointment after another.

Negative Self-Labelling. I feel like a failure. I’m flawed. If people knew the real me, they wouldn’t like me.

Catastrophizing. If something is going to happen, it’ll probably be the worst case scenario.



Other Common Types of Negative Thinking

Mind Reading. I can tell people don’t like me because of the way they behave.

Should Statements. People should be fair. If I’m nice to them, they should be nice back.

Excessive Need for Approval. I can only be happy if people like me. If someone is upset, it’s probably my fault.

Disqualifying the Present. I’ll relax later. But first I have to rush to finish this.

Dwelling on Pain. “If I dwell on why I’m unhappy and think about what went wrong, maybe I’ll feel better.” Alternately, “If I worry enough about my problem, maybe I will feel better.”

Pessimism. “Life is a struggle. I don’t think we are meant to be happy. I don’t trust people who are happy. If something good happens in my life, I usually have to pay for it with something bad.”


Source: patterns.htm

Article Comments

  • "How does one simply change ones way of thinking. It feels like I am lying to myself."
  • - StaceyB (22nd of June 2016, 08:38:14 AM)
  • "I always think the worst or negetive in most situations. How do you change this?"
  • - Jo30 (26th of June 2016, 03:20:06 PM)
  • "we all have bad thoughts im there"
  • - cindy111 (14th of July 2016, 03:02:24 AM)
  • "is this the group"
  • - cindy111 (14th of July 2016, 03:03:11 AM)
  • "Think of something nice"
  • - SteveHughW (3rd of August 2016, 06:53:29 AM)
  • "I want to kill myself. Immense academic pressure and no money."
  • - riaz (15th of October 2016, 12:32:11 PM)
  • "I think i aint good enough for anymore and feel like im worth nothing"
  • - katty22 (16th of October 2016, 08:52:49 AM)
  • "I look for the negatives in every day situations. So that If things go wrong im self prepared if that makes any sense there going through the same battle "
  • - TammyAnne (5th of December 2016, 04:01:24 PM)
  • "Somethings the negativity is the only thing that makes sense. It's been here so long listening at the side lines and eager to impart it's miserable knowledge it's like a trusted old friend"
  • - Kristofer78 (20th of January 2017, 03:18:48 PM)
  • "If only one could delete these negative thoughts, and just think positive/solution/progress. I dont know."
  • - HurricaneHavoc (7th of February 2017, 01:01:49 PM)
  • "Believe mewill get help. Sometimes you have to say goodbye to a person with a mental illness. Sometimes you have to cut a person with mental illness out of your life."
  • - heatherdaphe (18th of February 2017, 01:52:42 PM)
  • ", I get it. I really, really do. And sometimes you have to accept not everyone with a mental illness "
  • - heatherdaphe (18th of February 2017, 01:52:55 PM)
  • "nobody move I THINK I LOST MY MIND "
  • - debo (29th of May 2017, 12:23:34 PM)
  • "It helps me as I can see that my way of thinking follows a pattern that can be seen in these "labels". For me that helps as it shows me that it is not just MY mind that works like that. Very helpful and thanks"
  • - tryingtobounce (8th of August 2017, 08:21:44 PM)
  • "Life is a living hell...manic dep and bipolar and meds don't help much anymore, have two beautiful young boys and life can't be lekker for them with a mom that never wants to play or laugh or smile anymore....feel alone...even God has left me...needs to sort my life much shit to deal with and no strength "
  • - Panache76 (28th of August 2017, 01:30:48 PM)
  • "How do I stop being a cow to people"
  • - Aleksandra44 (28th of August 2017, 10:10:47 PM)
  • "Simple,Just take a minute and realise and stop"
  • - El1987 (4th of November 2017, 04:02:42 PM)

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