What is Healthy Thinking?

What is healthy thinking?

Healthy thinking doesn’t mean you have to be Ned Flanders 100% of the time!

We all have things that upset and frustrate us sometimes – healthy thinking does not mean being positive all the time.

We like this definition from Canada’s Here for You: healthy thinking means looking at the entire situation—the positive, the negative and the neutral parts—and then coming to a conclusion.

What’s important is becoming aware of how we’re interpreting situations, so we’re not falling into the trap of just focusing on the negative aspects. This can make you feel worse, and make you more likely to respond to the situation in ways that are unhelpful in the long term.

Thinking Traps

The first step towards healthy thinking is being aware of how you’re interpreting different situations. Some of the ‘thinking traps’ identified by Here to Help include:

Healthy thinking in 3 simple steps

Our colleagues at FarmStrong have come up with a handy three-step strategy for thinking and behaving in a more positive way. Try to use it every day, until healthy thinking becomes a new habit.

  1. Catch it - When you find yourself feeling anxious and depressed, stop and examine your thoughts. What are you thinking? Your pattern of thinking is usually so automatic that you don’t notice it, or the effect it has on your moods and feelings.
  2. Check it - Evaluate the negative thought rationally. Is it really true? Is it as bad as you think? It seldom is. Would others interpret it the same way? Will the problem really matter in six months’ to a years’ time?
  3. Change it - Now challenge your own faulty thinking. Substitute more realistic thoughts for your automatic ones. Consciously change your thought and select a more rational response.

Here are some other strategies that can help: