Self Expression Magazine

9 Types of Negative Thoughts That Steal Your Joy

Posted on the 26 March 2014 by Chasingjoy @chasing_joy
9 Types of Negative Thoughts That Steal Your Joy One of the things I love the most about the IPad I won at a SITS Girls event last spring is that I can download books on it from my library.  I am not a person who re-reads books so I try to only borrow them from the library.  Having the IPad makes that much easier, but that's not why I love it.  I love it because I can download audio books.  I am "reading" so much more now.
Right now I am reading listening too the book Change Your Brain Change Your Body by Daniel G Amen.  This book is all about brain health and how it impacts our bodies.  It covers how head trauma, our diets, supplements, sleep or lack thereof, sex life, and exercise impacts how our brains and therefore the rest of our bodies work.  All of that info is important, but the part that I am paying super close attention to is how our actual thoughts impact our brain and body.
It's funny our thoughts take place in our brains but our thoughts also impact our brains.  The book gives some examples of studies where people were made to believe they had received procedures to decrease pain and had raised levels of natural pain reducing hormones in thier bodies even when no procedures were actually done.  So positive  beliefs can actually bring about positive change in our bodies.  Likewise believing something negative can bring about negative change in our bodies.  That is why positive thinking and NO NEGATIVE SELF TALK  is so important.
9 Types of Negative Thoughts That Steal Your Joy The book covers 9 different types of Negative thinking that we should steer clear of.  Here goes:
1. All or Nothing Thinking -  This is where your thoughts are black and white when really life is many shades of gray.  An example of this would be when you eat a donut for breakfast and think, oh well, I've gone of my healthy eating plan so I might as well have junk food for lunch, hit the vending machine for a snack and order takeout for dinner.  All or Nothing Thinking makes you give up on too soon.  Either you are eating healthy or definitely not.  Instead a better way to approach it would be to say I may have gone off plan but I can get back on.
2. Always Thinking - Always Thinking is when you speak in absolutes using words like never, always, and every time.  An example would be a thought like every time I try to go to bed early something goes wrong.  Always Thinking is not accurate (it is not realistic that something goes wrong every time) and makes you feel powerless.  If you are powerless, why would you even try.  
3. Focusing on Negative -  This one is pretty self explanatory.  10 great things might happen during the day, but you only focus on the negative things.  
4. Thinking With Your Feelings - This is a good one and something that does not occur to everyone.  Sometimes feelings are just feelings and we don't have to believe every thought that crosses our minds.  
5. Guilt Beatings - Guilt Beatings occur when we overuse words like should have, must, and have to.  Examples are thoughts like,  I should have done..., I must stop doing..., I have to give up...  Too many of these thoughts cause feelings of guilt and rebellious actions like specificity doing what we said we should stop doing. 
6. Labeling- Labeling is where you call yourself negative names or think of yourself using negative descriptions like, Fat, Lazy, Disorganized, etc.  When our thoughts apply these labels to ourselves, it sends a why bother message.  If I am Disorganized, Fat, Lazy, etc..., why even bother trying to change undesirable behaviors.
7. Fortune Telling - Fortune Telling is when you  make statements about the future as though they are certain to come true, but they are not certain at all.  I will never make it to work on time or I know I will not have lost any weight by summer time are examples. Treating these thoughts with certainty sends a message of why even try to change.
8. Mind Reading - Mind Reading is similar to Fortune Telling in that it is when we make statements as though they are certain.  The difference is Mind Reading has to do with what other's think of us.  Examples would be my friend didn't greet me with Hello. She must be mad at me  or I know they will think I'm silly if I ask this question. Like Fortune Telling, these thoughts send a why try message.
9. Blame - Blame is when you don't take responsibility for your actions. An example of this thought would be, my co-workers bring in sweets at work, that's why I cannot stay on my diet and lose weight.  Blame thoughts that prevent us from taking responsibility for our actions makes us feel like we are helpless and have no say in our actions. 
I am sure I'm guilty of all of these different types of negative thinking. I slip into Fortune Telling, Labeling, Guilt Beatings, and Always Thinking the most. The good thing is that once we learn to recognize these negative thoughts we can more easily cut them short and eventually cut them out all together. 
Which types of negative thinking do you find yourself engaging in most often?  

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