do you think the effect of this thinking style will
have on the way you feel?
Notice that in this example you are
dwelling on a single detail out of the very
many details that occurred during the
entire night. Notice that the detail you
are dwelling on happens to be negative.
You have excluded other details of the whole picture,
which means that you are not remembering all the other
positive experiences of the night. If you focus on this
negative bit, then it is likely that you'll keep experiencing
the negative feelings that go along with it.
mental filter
we use a mental
filter, we "filter in" some
information, while we "filter out" other types of
information. Although we might sometimes consider
this a useful process by focusing on what we consider
important, it can also become a sort of "tunnel vision" -
where we focus on only one part of a situation and
ignore the rest. Often, this means looking at the
negative parts of a situation and forgetting the positive
Here is an example:
Maybe you are out with your partner having a romantic
dinner, and at the end of dinner you have a
disagreement about whether to leave a tip or not.
Perhaps you stew on this disagreement in the car all the
way home.
entre for
unhelpful thinking styles
mental filter
When a person experiences an unhelpful emotion (eg, depression or anxiety), it is usually preceded
by a number of unhelpful self-statements and thoughts. Often there is a pattern to such thoughts
and we call these, "unhelpful thinking styles". One of the things we have noticed is that people use
unhelpful thinking styles as an automatic habit. It is something that happens out of our awareness.
However, when a person consistently and constantly uses some of these styles of thinking, they can
often cause themselves a great deal of emotional distress. One of these thinking styles is called a
“mental filter”.
Briefly describe the situation. What were the thoughts that went
through your mind?
What feelings did you experience
consequent to your thinking?
Can you think of a situation where you have used this thinking style?
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