Is your thinkin' stinkin'?

Cognitive Distortions, Irrational Core Belief Systems, Faulty Schemas, are all psychobabble terms for what is more humorously called “stinkin' thinkin.”

Stinkin' thinkin' influences your mood, quality of sleep, relationships, and everyday functioning.

Are you one that categorizes people, places, things, and events, based on your own experiences without taking account of others' perspectives?

If you have this stinkin' thinkin' then you have decided that “all” of this or that is what you see it to be, as “the facts.” Over-generalizing, stereotyping, contributes to narrow views such as racism and sexism. You miss the balance of 'sometimes,' or 'occasionally' and project your own narrow view onto the world.

Do you think you know what other people are thinking or what their motives are without checking with them? 'Predicting the future' and 'mind reading' stinkin' thinkin' leads to miscommunication, assumptions, and hurt relationships.

Do you reject the good, or only find the bad about an experience or person in order to maintain a negative belief? Discounting the positive filters out good things, and only allows the bad things to be recognized. You focus on the bad and downplay the positive.

How many people do you know who blow things way out of proportion? Everything is a catastrophe happening or just waiting to happen. 'Magnification' takes the mind reading, over-generalizing, and predicting the future to the extreme. Who wouldn't feel anxious if the world was on the brink of catastrophe all the time?

It really stinks to have stinkin' thinkin.’ Check yourself. Stop. Challenge yourself to look at things in a brighter, healthier way. Recognize your own stinkin' thinkin' and make an effort to have a more balanced view.

Be happy!

— Linda Yearout,

Licensed Clinical Marriage & Family Therapist