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What are negative thought patterns?

Negative thought patterns are common among people who suffer from anxiety or depression. These thoughts can be repetitive and hard to break out of, which can make it difficult to manage day-to-day life. In this article, we’ll explore what negative thought patterns are, how they can impact your mental health, and some tips for breaking out of them.

What are negative thought patterns?

Negative thought patterns are any thoughts that tend to keep you in a negative or pessimistic mindset. These thoughts can be about yourself, your life, or the world around you. They can be repetitive and hard to break out of. Negative thought patterns can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, and low self-worth. If you find yourself stuck in negative thinking, there are things you can do to change your thinking patterns and improve your mental health.

Examples of negative thought patterns

1. All-or-nothing thinking: You see things in black-and-white terms, without any shades of gray. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.

2. Overgeneralization: You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.

3. Mental filter: You pick out the single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively, so that your vision of all reality becomes darkened, like looking through a dirty window.

4. Disqualifying the positive: You reject positive experiences by insisting they “don’t count” for some reason or other. In this way you can maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences.

5. Jumping to conclusions: You make negative interpretations even though there are no definite facts that support your conclusion.

6. Magnification (of problems) and minimization (of successes): You exaggerate the importance of your problems and shortcomings, while minimizing your strengths and successes. This is also known as the “binocular trick.”

7. Emotional reasoning: You allow your feelings to override evidence and reason, so that you believe something is true even though it isn’t

How to change negative thought patterns

Negative thinking is a common problem that can have a big impact on our lives. If left unchecked, negative thoughts can lead to low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.

Fortunately, there are things we can do to change our thinking patterns. By learning to recognize negative thoughts and challenge them with more positive ones, we can start to break the cycle of negative thinking.

If you’re struggling with negative thoughts, here are some tips to help you change your thinking patterns:

1. Be aware of your thoughts. The first step is to become aware of the negative thoughts that are running through your head. This may seem difficult at first, but it’s important to catch yourself when you’re thinking negatively.

2. Challenge your negative thoughts. Once you’re aware of your negative thoughts, you can start to challenge them. For each negative thought, try to come up with a more positive or realistic one. For example, if you’re thinking “I’m such a failure,” try replacing that thought with “I’m doing my best.”

3. Practice positive self-talk. Another way to counter negative thoughts is to practice positive self-talk. This means speaking kindly and encouragingly to yourself


There are many different types of negative thought patterns, but they all have one thing in common: they can hold you back from living your best life. If you find yourself stuck in a negative thought pattern, don’t despair — there are steps you can take to break free and start thinking more positively. With a little effort, you can learn to identify and change your negative thought patterns, and pave the way for a brighter future.

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