Weeding Out Unhelpful Thinking Patterns This Spring 🌱
L Lexi Breunig

Weeding Out Unhelpful Thinking Patterns This Spring 🌱

May 30, 2024 · emotional wellness · mental health · self care · self compassion

Hello friends! 

As it finally feels like spring here in WI, I've been reflecting on the thoughts we cultivate in our minds—and those we might wish to nurture and those we may need to weed out. 

As both a therapist and a mom, I've witnessed firsthand the transformative power of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in helping individuals of all ages reframe their thoughts. By identifying and challenging negative thinking patterns, we can empower ourselves and our children to navigate life's challenges with greater ease and resilience. 💪

So this spring, and all year long, let's take a moment to consider the thoughts we want to “plant” in the soil of our minds. 🪴 

Do we want to nourish seeds of self-doubt and fear, or do we want to sow seeds of optimism and self-confidence? By consciously choosing the thoughts we nurture, we can shape our reality and create a pretty beautiful garden. 🌸

Here are some common negative thinking patterns, along with strategies to weed them out and cultivate more positive alternatives:

  • All-or-nothing thinking: Challenge the notion that things are either perfect or a complete failure. Embrace the gray areas and acknowledge the progress you've made, no matter how small. 🩶
  • Catastrophizing: Reframe catastrophic thoughts by asking yourself, "What's the worst that could happen?" Then, consider more realistic and constructive outcomes. 😵‍💫
  • Mind reading: Recognize that you can't always know what others are thinking or feeling. Practice open communication and ask for clarification when in doubt. 🧠
  • Discounting the positive: Acknowledge your achievements and celebrate your successes, no matter how small. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude by focusing on the positives in your life. 🙏
  • Overgeneralization: Challenge the belief that one negative experience defines your entire life. Look for counterexamples and consider alternative perspectives. 🙂

By practicing this mindful awareness, we can become more attuned to our thoughts and their impact on our emotions and behaviors. As parents, we have the opportunity to model healthy thought patterns for our children, teaching them valuable skills they can carry with them throughout their lives.

✅ Activity Idea: Try to make your own “Thought Garden” with your kids. 

👉Using paper, and any drawing materials you might have at home, each work on creating your own garden- where flowers represent those thoughts you want to nourish and grow, and weeds represent the unhelpful thoughts you’d like to get rid of. How big are the weeds?  Are there any flowers that really need a lot of watering and sunlight? What might be the actual water and sunlight for those thoughts? Discuss what else might be in your garden! Have fun staying in this metaphor together as you connect, create, and chat about your gardens and do some CBT together. 🎨

If you are wanting more creative play based ideas like this, check out our new Play Guides that include art ideas, grounded in evidenced based treatment modalities,just like this, created by us (a therapist and teacher) to help you bring in important SEL topics in play based and art based ways at home.

So, as we embark on this journey of raising mindful, creative, and resilient kids, let's tend to the garden of our own minds with care and intention. Let's nurture thoughts of kindness, resilience, and possibility, while weeding out those that no longer serve us.

Wishing you all a season filled with growth and the beauty of new beginnings.

Emily 🌹

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