Black or white thinking: a mentality where an individual tends to categorize everything into one of two categories.
A lot of us tend to do this, so thinking this way doesn’t make you mentally ill.
Sometimes when we are feeling strong emotions, it just feels better to express them this way.
However if you think this way too often, especially when it comes to how you view yourself, it can be harmful to your mental health.
If every time you get a 89% grade or show up at work a minute late, you think you’re “lazy, terrible and irresponsible failure”, can you imagine what the impact on your overall self-image would be?
It’d probably look somewhere along the lines of thinking you’re never good enough, when in reality you could be getting nearly straight As and arriving to work promptly 95% of the time.
So, what do we do about this?
Its a simple thought-by-thought challenge.
Do you catch yourself saying you’re bad or a failure?
- Practice recognizing it.
Because often times, we do it without thinking.
- Think objectively.
Are you really a failure? Would your best friend or someone who really cares about you agree? Or are you just being super hard on yourself again…
- Preach the truth to yourself and move on.
Figure out the objective truth about yourself and make it a practice to remind yourself IN THOSE MOMENTS. It may not feel true, but you gotta keep doing it.
Changing the way you think takes time because you’re literally reconstructing the way your brain neurons are connecting. So as you work at this, please be gentle with yourself. It’s okay to mess up. The important thing is to just keep at it and it will make a difference.