Our thoughts influence how we feel and what we do, this is common knowledge.
So, what if your thoughts are telling big whopping lies?
These lies can be referred to as thought traps or cognitive distortions.
Imagine walking into a dark room full of furniture and trying to get to the other side of the room.
You are probably going to bump into a fair amount of furniture on your journey.
Now imagine doing that same journey but with the lights on... much easier and less painful!
Knowing what your thought traps are ahead of time is the equivalent of walking through the room with the light switched on.
It allows you to navigate your way through in full awareness of things that might trip you up or cause you harm.
If you know what your thought traps are it can make you less vulnerable to intense emotions and unhelpful patterns of behaviour caused by them.
Have a look at some of the common thought traps we can all fall into to see if you recognise any of them in your thinking.
All or nothing thinking: This is thinking in absolute terms and can sometimes be called black and white thinking. This refers to the fact that there doesn't appear to be a middle ground between two extremes.
"My partner is the best... but they ate my last biscuit, so now I hate them"
Catastrophising: This is blowing things out of proportion and expecting the worst possible outcome of a situation.
My boss has asked me to meet her, I bet it's because I've done something wrong. Shes going to fire me"
Magical thinking: Assuming that something completely unrelated was influenced by you or your behaviour
"I forgot my friend's birthday last week, so I deserved to be shouted at in my meeting today"
Mind reading: Believing you can tell what someone else is thinking.
"She cancelled our dinner plans tonight because she doesn't like me"
Emotional reasoning: Assuming that how we feel reflects how things actually are.
"I feel anxious about going to this party, so there must be something to be scared of or a something that is a threat to me"
We all experience thought traps to some extent but if after reading this, you have realised that you experience them lots of the time and they are harming your relationships or causing you difficulties, it may be time to get some help with working through these.
Switch the light on! Contact SP Counselling Service for support -email@example.com