The only way to really experience fulfilment and happiness in our journey through life is by consistent and never-ending self-improvement. A necessity in this respect is to acquire proficiency in our thinking. A pivotal aim of the thinkingfit camp is to teach readers how to change distorted and “crooked” ways of thinking.

I don’t think it would be wrong to state that we all hold thinking habits that do not serve us. Rather, they often cause havoc in our lives. The challenge is to identify and rectify them. Below are a few common ones; specifically ones that cause breakdowns in communication and lead to unnecessary conflict:

Filtering involves selecting and focusing on one negative or for that matter a positive aspect of a situation to the exclusion of all the other relevant aspects. In terms of a relationship, one partner could focus on a single fault of the other and ignore all the other potentially good characteristics.

Emotional reasoning
Here we judge or evaluate something illogically, totally on the basis of our feelings. Suspending our reason can lead to very erroneous conclusions. One common example is that to conclude that because I feel a certain way, I am that way as well. I could say “I feel ugly” and assume “Therefore I am ugly.”

Mind reading
With this type of thinking, we assume we know what others think, feel or want without asking them. An example is “She did not respond to my SMS, therefore she is having an affair and does not care about me anymore.”

Fortune telling
Few people can tell the truth about the future, and crystal balls do not really have the potency we might think they have! Yet we engage in fortune telling whenever we act as if we know the precise outcome of some event, excluding the possibility of the unexpected. Perhaps the most frequent examples if this is “naysayers” which involves underrating our coping ability or the possibility of a positive outcome.

Practical exercise:
Do you do any of the above? Write them down.