Below is a checklist you can use to identify your unhealthy thinking patterns. While we are commanded to take our thoughts captive unto Christ, we all struggle with unhealthy thinking patterns which can make life here very complicated at times! While some of the statements below sound perfectly fine from a moral standpoint, we are talking about taking those statements to an extreme. Like #1. Everything in black and white – the unhealthy side of that is when you are unable to ever be wrong about anything and there’s never any reason to extend grace to anyone who does things differently than you because you are right about everything all the time. And #7 is a good goal to have – but when it dictates your relationships with other people and has a negative affect on your own psyche, it is an unhealthy thinking pattern.
Write down the number to any of the statements that you can relate to and compare your list to the six most common unhealthy thinking patterns identified at the end of the survey. This is for your personal enrichment. Later I will post a definition of each unhealthy thinking pattern.
The following comes straight out of the book “Intimate Encounters” by Dr. David and Teresa Ferguson.
- I see things as pretty much black and white.
- I tend to make mountains out of molehills.
- I often take things personally.
- Past disappointments seem to predict the future.
- What I’m feeling is more important than the facts.
- I often think people make too much out of their problems. They should just get over it.
- There’s a place for everything and everything in it’s place.
- I seem to make things a “big deal.”
- It’s very important to sense others’ approval.
- I just know things won’t get any better.
- I can’t really believe I’m loved unless I feel it.
- I can handle almost any problem that comes my way. I don’t really need much support from anyone.
- Being perfect in what I undertake is essential to me.
- I seem to overreact to relatively small irritations.
- If someone in my family i s upset, I must have been part of the reason.
- I tend to write people off if they hurt or disappoint me.
- If I feel unloved, it must be because no one loves me.
- There’s no reason to get so worked up or so emotional.
Polarizing: 1, 7, 13
Magnifying: 2, 8, 14
Personalizing: 3, 9, 15
Generalizing: 4, 10, 16
Emotional Reasoning: 5, 11, 17
Minimizing: 6, 12, 18