Things happen in life that create certain thought patterns or self-judgement. This can be a result of a critical comment from a parent or the way you felt when you smiled at someone and they didn’t smile back.
This self-judgement continues on throughout our lives often without us even realizing were doing it. Recognizing these thought patterns take away their power and set us on a path for happiness.
#1 Always and Never Thinking: Taking a single negative event and turning it into something that always or never happens. For example:
“I forgot to pay a bill” can become “I always forget, what’s wrong with me?”
If there’s something wrong with you, then there’s something wrong with me and age has nothing to do with it. My 10 yr son is constantly forgetting to do chores and homework; wait, is it constantly or conveniently I forget which.
To change this first recognize this always/never thought pattern, then try to remember that telling yourself you always forget isn’t best. Instead, remind yourself that you sometimes forget and that is normal. We all forget things from time to time.
#2 Mindreading: This thought pattern usually leaves us feeling bad about our self. It’s a result of what we perceive others to be thinking about us or something we’ve done and it’s often negative. Subsequently, how we view our self is thrust upon another person and can really mess with our self-esteem.
“They don’t think I’m good enough” translates into “I don’t think I’m good enough”
Instead remind yourself that you are not a psychic and that there is no way to know what another human being is thinking without asking–unless of course he’s a man then it’s pretty obvious (drum roll please). No, but, really stop trying to read minds and keep your self-judgement positive.
#3 Should’a: This way of thinking puts the focus on how things should be or how I should feel, leading to severe self-criticism as well as feelings of resentment toward others.
“I shouldn’t feel this way” can be translated into “I understand why I feel this way”
Thinking of what you should have done or how things should be can result in feelings of shame and guilt towards oneself. This standard can also be applied to others resulting in disappointment for expectations unmet. How many of us have cried during a commercial for tampons? Then over analysed our crying, which then leads to more crying. Why can’t we just have a good cry about periods and be done with it.
#4 Taking it Personal: Taking everything personally can make us feel like everything is our fault. Anything that happens is somehow connected to something we did or said, even if that is impossible.
“Emily didn’t wave at me, she didn’t like something I said” OR ‘Emily didn’t wave because she was upset about something that happened at work (which ultimately had nothing to do with me)’
It wasn’t so long ago when we thought the sun revolved around the earth. So of course, everything revolves around us. Right! Your so Vain, I bet you think this song is about you, don’t you? Don’t you? Don’t you? heh! It’s normal to take a situation and put yourself at the center; after all, the only perception we have is our own. From now on, try to take yourself out of the center and let things just be as they are. No judgement.
#5 Comparison: measuring oneself against others can foster feelings of inferiority, even when the comparison may be impractical.
“The grass is always greener…”
Another person may seem to have it all but are likely struggling in unseen areas that we could never know about or understand. Making comparisons places unrealistic expectations on ourselves to perform at levels that are often imaginary. Instead, become a principal of your principles or in other words make your own rules. Realize what your’re measuring yourself against is a one size fits all when we come in all shape, sizes, and skill sets. Stop comparing and become the best version of yourself. No one else can top that.
#6 Fortune Telling: You feel as if you can tell the future and it is often bad. These predictions are often based on past experiences even if it has only happened once.
“I’ll never find a parking space” can become “we’ll find the first available”
Hey, if you are looking for parking at least your getting out of the house. Am I right? But seriously, I personally have spent a lot of time on worse case scenarios only to be let down by the the situation only being half-bad. Maybe if I hadn’t assumed the worst and just let things be as they are, then it would have turned out just fine. Let’s start to look for better possible outcomes. Seeing future events in a negative light often puts us in a bad mood from the start and can set the tone for the entire day.
How can we start changing these negative thought patterns?
First, observe the thought. Next, accept the thought. Then let go of the thought (Meaning don’t get involved with the thought. Simply observe it), Lastly, follow up with non-judgment. Don’t judge the thought or even the fact that you had the thought. Accept and Dismiss it. Try a positive thought in its place. I don’t mean lie to yourself. I just mean find something that feels better.
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is another great way to effect change and can be found at https://eft.mercola.com/. I use this method as well as mindfulness to develop new ways to navigate through and release negative thought patterns.
If you could use some help, I offer services such as reiki and energywork that can aid you on your journey to emotional freedom. Ask yourself these 4 question from Katie Byron. This is an excellent tool to assist in the process of healing overwhelming thought emotion.
“Think positive! Why not? Give the negative thoughts some competition.”