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Thinking Traps Zap Your Resilience- Part 1

Take a moment to think about how much information your brain processes in one day.  It’s A LOT – too much, actually.  In order to help us process all of the information that comes at us, we often take mental short cuts.  Sometimes these short cuts work, but many times, they do not. 

 For example, how many times have you interpreted a partner's affectation as certain confirmation that he or she didn't like the most recent assignment you prepared for him or her?  Or, maybe you are sure you know what your spouse or partner is thinking, and you proceed accordingly, without all of the information you need.

Anytime you run into a thinking trap, it zaps your ability to think accurately and flexibly about a problem, and this impacts your resilience.  If any of these traps sound familiar, the first step in correcting your thinking is to become aware of your tendency to fall into a trap.  The second step is to start practicing a different thought process.  Easy?  No.  Worth it?  YES! 

There are eight common thinking traps that people tend to make when faced with a challenge – here are the first three along with ways to avoid each trap: 

 

Name of the Thinking Trap

 

 

Definition

 

 

How to Avoid the Trap

 

 

Jumping to Conclusions

 

 

Believing you are certain of the meaning of a situation despite little or no evidence to support that belief

 

 

Slow down and examine the evidence supporting your belief

 

 

Tunnel vision

 

 

Focusing on the less significant details in a situation

 

 

Ask what pertinent information did I miss

 

 

Over-generalizing

 

 

Setting global beliefs about a person’s beliefs or abilities based on a single situation

 

 

Ask whether there is a specific behavior that explains the situation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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