There are people who have gone through their lives thinking that they will fail, nobody loves them, they are not worthy of others, and bad things will always come their way. This is a classic example of stinking thinking. It is a defined way of thinking negatively that it tends to reflect it in their self-esteem and manner of dealing with other people. This negativity will affect every aspect of a person’s life rendering them ineffective when dealing with work, self, others, and the community as a whole.
Healthy thinking is the opposite because it gives a person a perspective of the world. It is grounded in objectivity as well as a sense of belief that everything is beyond human control. Healthy thinkers have high emotional quotients to boot, and can see the world and situation in realistic lens.
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Running a Negative Commentary versus Healthy Thinking
Stinking thinking can be transformed into irrational thoughts. Several thinking patterns that are identified and is differentiated with healthy thinking
· Self-blaming happens when you own up responsibility for all things that are beyond your control. A healthy thinker will own up responsibility only in the areas in which he believes he is personally accountable for.
· Negative labeling happens when you see a flaw in your personality and sees yourself negatively all the way, as I am a jerk kind of thing. A person with a healthier perspective will single out this negative flaw and find ways to improve it.
· Negative expectations happen when you have a lot of rules that you follow. These “ought to’s” and “have to’s” are considered a self-pressure that leads to guilt and frustration. A healthy approach is to break down the programmed “shoulds” and substitute this with “I can”.
· Over generalization happens when you over magnify one situation and you tell yourself that this failure will apply to other situations as well. A healthy thinker will single out this situation and take lessons from it.
· Mental filtering happens when you single out a single untoward incident and blow it out of proportions. A healthy perspective is to become more realistic.
· Seeing things in either black or white, or all or nothing approach leaves you paralyzed with no options. Healthy thinking allows creative ideas to flow.
This stinking thinking behavior is not only counterproductive, but destructive as well. It limits the capacity of the person to go beyond his fears because of the paralysis that resides inside his mind. In contrast, healthy thinkers lead a healthy emotional and psychological life because they are in touch with reality: both their limitations and strengths.
Overcoming One and Substituting the Other
It is not easy to move from stinking thinking to healthy thinking in an instant. It means a constant awareness of where the negative thoughts come from as well as making an effort to supply a positive thought when negativity comes in. It means breaking down programmed beliefs about oneself, others, and the world in general. Changing from a negative thinker to a positive thinker can happen with effort, awareness, and a dose of positive perspective.