6 Unhelpful Thinking Styles to Avoid

Stress is a part of everyday living – it is unavoidable, and while though it is unavoidable there are things we do, sometimes without realization that make it much more worse than it has to be.

Our thinking and approach plays a huge role in how we cope with everyday situations such as stress.

Though it can be hard to change our thoughts, here are 6 negative thinking styles we should avoid when faced with a negative or stressful situation.

All or Nothing

With an all or nothing mentality every situation and every stress seems to dire. We think that just because we did not make a deadline at work we are going to get fired, go broke and end up living on the streets. First off – breathe, secondly, that is not the case. All or nothing is similar to that of a flight or fight; however, with this mentality it’s easy to not look past the situation and suddenly just give up.

Tip The world is not ending, there is always a tomorrow. Mistakes are meant to happen so we can learn from them. No one was born perfect nor does anyone do things without error or mistake. We are all just humans and our flaws make us who we are.

Jumping to Conclusions

If you are in a relationship or dating, you know that this is by far one of the worst thinking styles to have. Jumping to conclusions without asking or investigating not only can damage the relationship but it makes for unwarranted insecurities. Now, if you come home to your boyfriends and you see another girl’s thong in the living room – one would be easy to assume he has had another girl over; however, if he shares his flat with another guy who has numerous girls over, before you jump on your guy, investigate and inquire. That thong may be his roommates’ latest conquest!

Tip There is a fine line between jumping to conclusions and listening to your gut, make sure you can distinguish between the two. If you are jumping to conclusions, make sure you are prepared to live with the consequences, whether good or bad.

Emotional Reasoning

Women use emotion and men use logic – typically. Women tend to let their emotions overpower logic which sometimes results in hurtful words and actions. This isn’t to say that women should not show their emotions or feel, rather, it’s important to be aware of the fact that you may be making a decision, saying things and doing things because you are overly emotional.

Tip When you and your partner or your friend have gotten into an argument, don’t act – rather, just wait it out and then proceed. Think of a sailor who sees the water as rough and tumultuous, a smart sailor knows better than to risk his and his crew’s life, as a result he will wait for the calm waters. Allow yourself to feel whatever you need to then proceed to tackle the problem at hand.


When you label a stress or issue, you are not only confining the issue or what has made you stressed. For example, labeling yourself as “stupid” or “incompetent” you are only contributing to the negative self talk.

Tip Be open minded and don’t fall into the habit of instantly labeling a bad situation because doing so will only limit you and your thinking.

Over Generalizing

By over generalizing a situation or issue, we just naturally assume that it’s meant to happen and just like labeling you have restricted and confined the negative thinking rather than being open minded. It is understandable when something major happens to find ourselves over generalizing but what good does that do? It does nothing.

Tip Remember that our experiences are unique to ourselves; therefore, you can’t over generalize. You can’t over generalize and assume everyone thinks or acts one way – they don’t.


When we magnify a situation or stress, we are over exaggerating the issue or minimizing it – which is neither are good nor helpful. When we magnify a stress in our life, we make it out to be much more severe than it truly is and on the other hand, when we minimize an issue, we make it so that it has no importance or value. This can be emotionally and mentally exhausting…

Tip When faced with a stress that in the moment may seem so dire, stop and walk away. Examine the consequences or the impact the issue has to your life and take it for face value at the same time though, do not minimize an issue or experience by shrugging it off. If you are passionate about a cause and others choose to bring you down, don’t change your mindset and minimize your passion, stand tall and proud!


Merylee Sevilla

Merylee Sevilla

Jane of all trades - traveller, blogger and foodist. I write on experiences from my travels, experiences and friends. I am inspired by all that surrounds me and am constantly learning. As a gaysian (patent pending) I also write about my experiences coming out, the relief that comes from allowing myself to truly be.