Go Back   NeuroTalk Support Groups > Mental Health Conditions > Bipolar Disorder

10 types of stinking thinking

Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 09-26-2006, 09:31 PM   #1
bizi
Legendary
 
bizi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: cajun country, lafayette Louisiana
Posts: 12,877
My Mood:
Default 10 types of stinking thinking

The Top 10 Types of “Stinkin’ Thinkin’”

by David Burns, M.D.
January 20, 2006
One of the most common types of skills learned in psychotherapy today focuses on our thinking. Unbeknownst to many of us, we often engage in internal conversations with ourselves throughout the day. Unless we’re trained to examine these conversations, however, many of us don’t even realize we’re having them! For instance, imagine looking in the mirror at yourself. What’s the first thing you think when you look at yourself? That thought is a part of our internal conversation.
Having these kinds of conversations with yourself is perfectly normal and in fact, everybody does it. Where we mess up in our lives is when we let these conversations take on a life of their own. If we answer ourselves in the above example with something like, “I’m fat and ugly and nobody loves me,” that’s an example of “stinkin’ thinkin’.” Our thoughts have taken on an unhealthy attitude, one that is working against us instead of for us. Psychologists would call these thoughts “irrational,” because they have little or no basis in reality. For instance, the reality is that most everyone is loved by someone (even if they’re no longer with us), and that a lot of our beauty springs from inside us — our personality.
It is exactly these kinds of thoughts that you can learn to identify as you go through your day. Often times it will be helpful to keep a little journal of the thoughts, writing down the day and time you had it, the thought itself, and the type of irrational thought — or stinkin’ thinkin’ — from the list below. As you learn to better identify them, you can then learn how to start answering them back with rational arguments. In this manner, you can work to turn your internal conversation back to being a positive in your life, instead of a running negative commentary.
1. All-or-nothing thinking - You see things in black-or-white categories. If a situation falls short of perfect, you see it as a total failure. When a young woman on a diet ate a spoonful of ice cream, she told herself, “I’ve blown my diet completely.” This thought upset her so much that she gobbled down an entire quart of ice cream.
2. Overgeneralization - You see a single negative event, such as a romantic rejection or a career reversal, as a never-ending pattern of defeat by using words such as “always” or “never” when you think about it. A depressed salesman became terribly upset when he noticed bird dung on the window of his car. He told himself, “Just my luck! Birds are always crapping on my car!”
3. Mental Filter - You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively, so that your vision of reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that discolors a beaker of water. Example: You receive many positive comments about your presentation to a group of associates at work, but one of them says something mildly critical. You obsess about his reaction for days and ignore all the positive feedback.
4. Discounting the positive - You reject positive experiences by insisting that they “don’t count.” If you do a good job, you may tell yourself that it wasn’t good enough or that anyone could have done as well. Discounting the positives takes the joy out of life and makes you feel inadequate and unrewarded.
5. Jumping to conclusions - You interpret things negatively when there are no facts to support your conclusion.
Mind Reading : Without checking it out, you arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you.
Fortune-telling : You predict that things will turn out badly. Before a test you may tell yourself, “I’m really going to blow it. What if I flunk?” If you’re depressed you may tell yourself, “I’ll never get better.”
6. Magnification - You exaggerate the importance of your problems and shortcomings, or you minimize the importance of your desirable qualities. This is also called the “binocular trick.”
7. Emotional Reasoning - You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: “I feel terrified about going on airplanes. It must be very dangerous to fly.” Or, “I feel guilty. I must be a rotten person.” Or, “I feel angry. This proves that I’m being treated unfairly.” Or, “I feel so inferior. This means I’m a second rate person.” Or, “I feel hopeless. I must really be hopeless.”
8. “Should” statements - You tell yourself that things should be the way you hoped or expected them to be. After playing a difficult piece on the piano, a gifted pianist told herself, “I shouldn’t have made so many mistakes.” This made her feel so disgusted that she quit practicing for several days. “Musts,” “oughts” and “have tos” are similar offenders.
“Should statements” that are directed against yourself lead to guilt and frustration. Should statements that are directed against other people or the world in general, lead to anger and frustration: “He shouldn’t be so stubborn and argumentative!”
Many people try to motivate themselves with shoulds and shouldn’ts, as if they were delinquents who had to be punished before they could be expected to do anything. “I shouldn’t eat that doughnut.” This usually doesn’t work because all these shoulds and musts make you feel rebellious and you get the urge to do just the opposite. Dr. Albert Ellis has called this ” must erbation.” I call it the “shouldy” approach to life.
9. Labeling - Labeling is an extreme form of all-or-nothing thinking. Instead of saying “I made a mistake,” you attach a negative label to yourself: “I’m a loser.” You might also label yourself “a fool” or “a failure” or “a jerk.” Labeling is quite irrational because you are not the same as what you do. Human beings exist, but “fools,” “losers” and “jerks” do not. These labels are just useless abstractions that lead to anger, anxiety, frustration and low self-esteem.
You may also label others. When someone does something that rubs you the wrong way, you may tell yourself: “He’s an S.O.B.” Then you feel that the problem is with that person’s “character” or “essence” instead of with their thinking or behavior. You see them as totally bad. This makes you feel hostile and hopeless about improving things and leaves very little room for constructive communication.
10. Personalization and Blame - Personalization comes when you hold yourself personally responsible for an event that isn’t entirely under your control. When a woman received a note that her child was having difficulty in school, she told herself, “This shows what a bad mother I am,” instead of trying to pinpoint the cause of the problem so that she could be helpful to her child. When another woman’s husband beat her, she told herself, “If only I was better in bed, he wouldn’t beat me.” Personalization leads to guilt, shame and feelings of inadequacy.
Some people do the opposite. They blame other people or their circumstances for their problems, and they overlook ways they might be contributing to the problem: “The reason my marriage is so lousy is because my spouse is totally unreasonable.” Blame usually doesn’t work very well because other people will resent being scapegoated and they will just toss the blame right back in your lap. It’s like the game of hot potato–no one wants to get stuck with it.
Parts of this article were exercepted from the book, “The Feeling Good Handbook” by David D. Burns, M.D. © 1989.
__________________

.

This is harriet, my sweet baby girl.....
heavy sigh.....
.



one day at a time....
bizi is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Alffe (02-01-2008), Bdix (10-01-2008), BlueMajo (11-28-2012), butterfly11 (11-27-2012), Curious (01-31-2008), DMACK (01-31-2008), ginnie (11-28-2012), kalamity_jane (09-28-2008), Pinky (11-26-2008), Shelley (01-31-2008), Vowel Lady (01-31-2008)
Unread 01-31-2008, 04:01 PM   #2
bizi
Legendary
 
bizi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: cajun country, lafayette Louisiana
Posts: 12,877
My Mood:
Arrow

time for a bump
__________________

.

This is harriet, my sweet baby girl.....
heavy sigh.....
.



one day at a time....
bizi is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Curious (01-31-2008), Mari (01-31-2008)
Unread 01-31-2008, 07:41 PM   #3
DMACK
Senior Member
 
DMACK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: EARTH
Posts: 1,024
Default

i wish the Thanks button could be repetedly pressed


Great article Bizi

THANKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

If anyone else likes this post..look up Cognative Behaviour Therapy...similar process.......said to help many people with mental health issues.....


David
__________________
Take care of YOU


.
DMACK is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
bizi (01-31-2008), Curious (01-31-2008)
Unread 02-01-2008, 07:08 AM   #4
Vowel Lady
Member
 
Vowel Lady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 923
My Mood:
Default

David Burns, M.D....he is one of my favorite authors and I suspect one that the psychologists refer to often. IMHO, it is so important to "catch oneself" thinking negatively or irrationally and make a correction.
Vowel Lady is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-01-2008, 09:07 AM   #5
fiberowendy2000
Senior Member
 
fiberowendy2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,071
My Mood:
Default

Hey I love stinkin' thinkin'! Then I snap out of it and I am better.
__________________

.

Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. -- Goethe

Diagnoses: FM, Sciatica, Rosacea, Piriformis Syndrome, SI joint disfunction, Joint Facet Syndrome L3-L5, Pinched Nerve (somewhere on the left side), Depression, Anxiety and Bipolar II

.
fiberowendy2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 04-18-2008, 04:02 PM   #6
bizi
Legendary
 
bizi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: cajun country, lafayette Louisiana
Posts: 12,877
My Mood:
Default

time for another bump...
__________________

.

This is harriet, my sweet baby girl.....
heavy sigh.....
.



one day at a time....
bizi is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Abbie (04-18-2008), BJ (04-21-2008)
Unread 04-21-2008, 06:06 AM   #7
BJ
Senior Member
 
BJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,194
Default

I mentioned about rational and irrational beliefs. My tdoc told me I really need to focus on what is real, not what's in my head.

Irrational belief: I must have love and approval from all the important people in my life.
Truth: I love and accept myself. I don't need approval from others to be happy. If I do get it, it's an added bonus.


Irrational belief: I must do everything perfectly, or at least be a master in at least one area of my life.
Truth: If I do the best that I can most times, that is good enough. I don't have to be perfect. And doing something in a less than perfect way is far better than never attempting it at all.


Irrational belief: A person or situation is making me angry, depressed, sad, drink, talk drugs.
Truth: I am in control of the thoughts that I have that are making me angry, depressed, etc. It may be valid to feel angry, but it is my thoughts that are causing my feelings, not the person or the situation. I am in control, not them/it.


Irrational belief: The way I feel today is influenced by what happened to me in the past. Therefore I will always feel this way.
Truth: The past influences my present as much as I allow it to do so. My thoughts about the past affect my present and my future, but I have ultimate control over the thoughts that I choose to think.
__________________

.

.


.


.



Cats nap, only humans put them "to sleep". Sterilize, don't euthanize!!


BJ
BJ is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
bizi (04-21-2008), butterfly11 (11-27-2012), kalamity_jane (09-28-2008), Mari (04-21-2008)
Unread 09-24-2008, 09:42 PM   #8
bizi
Legendary
 
bizi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: cajun country, lafayette Louisiana
Posts: 12,877
My Mood:
Heart

time for another bump
__________________

.

This is harriet, my sweet baby girl.....
heavy sigh.....
.



one day at a time....
bizi is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Abbie (09-24-2008), kalamity_jane (09-28-2008), Mari (09-28-2008), Vowel Lady (09-28-2008)
Unread 09-28-2008, 08:20 PM   #9
Vowel Lady
Member
 
Vowel Lady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 923
My Mood:
Default

Bizi...Thank you for the bump.
An oldie, but a goodie!
This stuff is GREAT!
Whenever I see the list, I read it and think am I caught up on any of these currently?
If so, how can I make a change?
A repeated "thanks!"
Vowel Lady is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Bdix (10-01-2008), bizi (09-28-2008)
Unread 11-24-2008, 11:20 AM   #10
bizi
Legendary
 
bizi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: cajun country, lafayette Louisiana
Posts: 12,877
My Mood:
Red face

Time for another bump....
__________________

.

This is harriet, my sweet baby girl.....
heavy sigh.....
.



one day at a time....
bizi is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
butterfly11 (11-27-2012)
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:35 AM.
Brought to you by the fine folks who publish mental health and psychology information at Psych CentralMental Health Forums

The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment
provided by a qualified health care provider. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.


Powered by vBulletin • Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.


All posts copyright their original authors • Community GuidelinesTerms of UsePrivacy Policy
NeuroTalk Archives