Thinking Traps

Thinking TrapUnhelpful ThoughtResilient Thought
Fortune-tellingI am going to fall apart.This will be tough, but I will take it moment by moment.
Black-and-white thinkingAnything less that perfect is a failure.I don’t’ have to be perfect. I can do my best and learn from my mistakes.
Mind-readingShe must think I am a failure.I don’t have the ability to read other people’s minds.
Over-generalizationI always fail.I failed this time, but I will do things differently next time.
LabelingI am a failure.I have failed a few times, but I am learning and will do things differently next time.
Over-estimating dangerI am going crazy.Difficult things are happening in my life right now, but I can choose how I react.
FilteringBelieving you will always feel down because you had a bad day.Reminding yourself that there will be ups and downs. Pay attention to the good days.
CatastrophizingI won’t be able to survive this tragedy.This is a tough period in my life, but it is temporary.
Should statementsI should be strong.It is normal to feel down when going through a difficult time. I will let myself be sad when I need to.

Adapted from Character Strengths and Virtues, Christopher Peterson & Martin Seligman