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  • Writer's pictureWenna

How To Avoid Thought Holes

kid looking through a magnifying glass

I came across an excellent article ‘How To Stop Negative Thoughts’ last week, and I love how clearly and simply it outlines negative self talk and cognitive distortions--or thought holes. This is well worth a read, particularly for the breakdown in the most common types of thought holes:

  • Jumping to conclusions: judging a situation based on assumptions as opposed to definitive facts

  • Mental filtering: paying attention to the negative details in a situation while ignoring the positive

  • Magnifying: magnifying negative aspects in a situation

  • Minimizing: minimizing positive aspects in a situation

  • Personalizing: assuming the blame for problems even when you are not primarily responsible

  • Externalizing: pushing the blame for problems onto others even when you are primarily responsible

  • Overgeneralizing: concluding that one bad incident will lead to a repeated pattern of defeat

  • Emotional reasoning: assuming your negative emotions translate into reality, or confusing feelings with facts (Renee Jain, 2017)

In terms of dealing with thought holes, awareness is certainly the first step. Once kids know that these tendencies exist and have a very real impact on their wellbeing, it is easier to use some self (or parent assisted) questioning to identify what might really be going on, and challenge the accuracy of their perceptions.

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