Month: March 2017

Errors in Thinking

Posted on March 8, 2017 in My Blog

As human beings one of the fundamental elements that sets us apart from any other creature on the planet is our unique ability to think. We have one of the most complex pieces of processing software available, the human brain. The brain can process information as slowly as 0.5 meters/sec or as fast as 120 meters/sec (about 268 miles per hour). But, what happens when it goes wrong? Errors in thinking are thought process that we undertake which is negative or are preventative. By preventative, I mean these negative thoughts will hinder your day-to-day activities.

Some of the more textbook style errors in thinking are people who display a disqualifying attitude towards the positive. This will be a person who completely negates any positive experience. They may refer to them as not counting, as a way of ensuring that these positive attributes are easily dismissible. If they are easily dismissed, and not worth considering to the person involved, then it is hard to move from that negative train of thought and see the positive things in life.

Other examples of errors in thinking are what is often called black and white thinking; this means the individual will classify everything as either good or bad. There is no middle ground or flexibility for consideration of any other opinion. It is one or the other. This is not to be confused with another form of negative thinking, which is catastrophisation. Again, this is an error in thinking that does not say the situation they are experiencing is in one column or the other, but refers to the worst case scenario you could imagine applied to that situation: For example, Jane is running late, she thinks she will be late, she is late, she (in her own mind) is then immediately fired, she cant pay the bills, she loses the house and she immediately faces an apocalyptic style disaster as a consequence of her lateness.

Both errors do have a commonality that they are both placing a huge emphasis on the negative. Jane could have gone in to work late, and the boss says: Hello Jane, thats fine, are you okay?. Sometimes for individuals it is hard to see past the negative consequences of an action and be embroiled in the internal dialogue exploring every possible worst outcome imaginable.

The easiest way to break free of these errors in thinking is to take a step back and for a moment be empowered to consider the facts. The best way to consider any form of information, is to do so calmly; so if you can allow your breathing to return to normal and allow the adrenaline to return to an optimal level. In your new healthy thought process consider the facts: Yes, I am running late, but I used my mobile to tell my boss I am running late; therefore, they know I am going to be late and prepare themselves accordingly. I will, if necessary converse with my boss to discuss how to avoid similar situations in the future. This meeting will not end with me being fired on the spot. This new balanced way of thinking is calm and collected. It promotes the use of factual information to give a more rounded view and considers positive actions made by the individual concerned.

If you, or you think somebody you know has similar issues to the ones mentioned but may not have gained a calm and collected way of thinking yet, the best thing you can do is be a friend. Listen to them. However, if this fails or you dont think this course of action is for you, please refer your friend to a professional therapist at Talking therapy such as hypnotherapy, counseling and CBT can help remove errors that would otherwise impede your life or that of another. A therapist can offer you an impartial view that can in a short number of sessions help you be rid of errors in thinking, giving you the opportunity to start anew, living life to the fullest.