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  • Writer's picturecoswaycbt

Unhelpful Thinking Patterns 6/11 - Mountains & Molehills

Updated: Aug 4

This is the sixth part of a series looking at common unhelpful thinking habits. These are patterns of thinking that our minds can slip into as a way of coping with challenging situations. You can read more about this in my earlier post here.

This thinking pattern is characterised by inflating the positive attributes of others around us whilst minimising our own positive attributes, or perhaps maximising the potential for threat in a situation and minimising the potential for positive outcome. Repeated thinking in this manner can cause emotional distress and is detrimental to our wellbeing. Particularly where we are minimising our own positive attributes we risk the danger of straying from being humble into the territory of low self-esteem.

Using the questions from my previous post, you can start to reflect on the situations and explore whether there are alternative, more balanced perspectives that will be more helpful and supportive rather than damaging to self-esteem.

Another helpful exercise is to make a list of positive attributes that you find attractive in others, then go through this list and try to recall examples of times when you have demonstrated these. Once you have done this, try keeping a journal for two weeks to record on a daily basis three different examples where you have demonstrated examples of qualities from the list - write down exactly what you did to illustrate which positive qualitiy you are demonstrating. After the two weeks have passed, reflect on whether you notice any difference to how you are feeling and how your outlook compares to before you started.

And don’t forget to show kindness to yourself – slip ups are inevitable, so be open to forgiving yourself on the occasions that you fall back into the old habit; after all, you don’t want to wake up your inner critic after working so hard on that in my earlier post!

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