“What the heck is wrong with me?” “Why can’t I get over this?” “Who am I kidding, it’s just a phase.” These are thoughts that we often have when going through tough periods. We all know these thoughts as ‘stinking thinking’ and they’re a part of life. In this blog post, we’ll look at what our thoughts say about us – and how to stop ourselves from being so negative.
What Is Stinking Thinking?
Stinking thinking is a type of negative thinking that involves looking at our problems in a pessimistic way. We tend to dwell on the negative aspects of our situation and focus on all of the things that are going wrong. This leads to feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression.
What Does It Say About Us?
People who engage in stinking thinking often believe that since they got into a problem, it’s going to last forever. They think that their problems are permanent and that the situation is unmanageable. This type of negative thinking can lead to issues such as eating disorders, drug use, depression, anxiety, and more.
When we engage in stinking thinking, it sends a message to ourselves that we’re not capable or strong enough to cope with our problems. It tells us that we’re not good enough and that we’re destined for failure. These thoughts can be incredibly demoralizing and make it difficult to see any silver lining in our situation.
Causes Of Stinking Thinking
Stinking thinking is a type of negative thinking that can be triggered by many different types of events:
- It more tends to happen when we have goals or expectations about our lives but are unable to achieve these goals within the timeframe that we want.
- For example, if you have ambitious plans but find yourself in a job that is not fulfilling, it can be easy for negative thoughts to creep into your mind.
- The key thing here is timing, stinking thinking generally occurs after something goes wrong rather than before it happens.
- If someone thinks this way, they might not realize they’re doing it until their situation has gotten worse. That’s because when you do this negative thing, you start to feel stressed or anxious.
Types Of Stinking Thinking
Stinking thinking comes in many different forms. Some common types of stinking thinking include:
- All-or-Nothing Thinking – This is when we see things in black and white terms with no middle ground between the two options. For example, if you get a bad grade on your exam it means that you’re stupid or dumb rather than just having done poorly on one test.
- Discounting The Positive – This type of negative thought pattern involves looking at all of our problems but ignoring any positive events that may occur along the way. We tend to focus only on what’s wrong without giving ourselves credit for anything good that happens during this time period.
- Jumping To Conclusions – When engaging in jumping to conclusions, people assume they have all of the facts about a situation when, in fact, they do not. This causes them to jump to conclusions that are incorrect and may lead to negative thoughts or emotions.
- Magnifying – Magnifying is when we take a negative event or situation and blow it out of proportion. When we make the problem seem worse, it can lead to feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression.
- Minimizing – Minimizing occurs when we downplay the importance of positive events in our lives. When someone compliments us, we might not believe them. That’s what some people do. They brush off the compliment and don’t give themselves credit for things they’ve done well. This can lead to feeling like you’re worth less than other people, or that your work is not good enough.
Do I Have Stinking Thinking?
- Some people think negatively all the time. You might be one of them if you feel that way most of the time. Or you might just think negative thoughts once in a while. Either way, it’s important to know how we talk to ourselves and what we say to ourselves when we’re feeling bad about something.
- Here are a few questions that might help you to know whether you have stinking thinking or not:
- Do I often have thoughts such as “I’m not good enough”, “This is never going to work out”, or “I always screw things up”?
- When something bad happens, do I automatically jump to conclusions about why it happened and what this means for me?
- Do I look at all my problems but ignore any positive events that occur along the way?
- If you answered yes to any of these questions, then take some time to reflect on how these thoughts make you feel.
- Notice how you feel physically as well as mentally.
- Negative thoughts can make us feel bad. They might make you feel sad, angry, and frustrated. And this can cause you to be unhappy with your life overall.
Positive And Negative Impact Of Stinking Thinking In Our Day To Day Life
When we engage in stinking thinking, it can influence the type of day we have in the following ways:
- Negative thoughts bring on negative emotions which can create a downward spiral for how you feel throughout your entire day.
- On the other hand, when people think positively they tend to experience more positive moods and better health overall.
- This is why it’s so important to try and catch ourselves when we’re engaging in stinking thinking because it can have a negative impact on our day-to-day lives.
- Stinking thinking is a bad habit. It can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. But there are ways to stop these thoughts from being so powerful.
- Identify the negative thoughts that you have and then find evidence that contradicts them. If you can’t, get new friends who will be supportive of you. Then notice how the way you think affects how you feel overall.
What Can We Do To Stop It?
The good news is that there are ways we can stop ourselves from engaging in stinking thinking some strategies include:
- One way to start this process is by writing down when you have negative thoughts.
- In addition to writing these down, try asking yourself questions including “Is my thought here rational?” and “How else could I look at this?”.
- Challenge The Way You Think About Things: Once you’ve identified where your negative thoughts come from, it’s time to challenge them.
- Take a step back and try looking at your situation in new ways by asking yourself “What is the evidence that supports this thought?” and “Is there another way of thinking about my problem?”.
- Surround Yourself With Positive People: Having positive people around you when times get tough can make all the difference in how quickly we recover from stressful events.
- If you feel upset, you can talk to someone. Family members and friends can help reduce anxiety or depression.
It is important to be careful of the negative thoughts that come into your head when you are in a difficult situation. Recognizing these thoughts for what they are-garbage!-can help us stay focused on better outcomes. It’s not an easy task but if you can learn to control your brain and stop it from going down this path, then you’ll have set up yourself with a much higher chance at success in any endeavor.
A Word From Mantra Care
Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.