Our thoughts are not fact

Our thoughts are not fact!

Our brains process tens of thousands of thoughts every day. Some are positive and others are not. Recognising our own thought patterns, especially when we’re not feeling our best mentally, can be a great way to ‘de-fuse’ from negative thoughts and step back into a more positive frame of mind.

Awareness is power

As human beings, we rely on instincts and unconscious thoughts every day, multiple times a day. When we’re feeling mentally well, this works very efficiently – we don’t have to stop and analyse every decision, which saves a lot of time and effort.

Unfortunately, when we’re not feeling mentally well, these little shortcuts our brain takes can inadvertently lead us to incorrect and sometimes painful assumptions about ourselves, our relationships and the people in our lives.

Pausing and making yourself aware if you feel a negative thought coming into your mind can stop this process before it starts. This practice is called ‘defusion’.

Give your thoughts a label

Our thoughts are only thoughts. They are not real until they’re put into action. Thoughts can be good and useful, for example ‘I should apply for that job,’ or ‘I know my friend is going to love her birthday present!’ but they can also be hurtful and unhelpful.

Examples of unhelpful thoughts can be things like:

  • ‘No one at the party liked me’
  • ‘My boss is not happy with my work’
  • ‘I will definitely fail that test’

Negative thoughts are part of life. We all doubt ourselves at times. But labeling thoughts as helpful or unhelpful gives us clarity and allows us to separate ourselves from the thought before we ‘fuse’ with it and it becomes a problem.

Instead of stating things to yourself as facts, try framing them for what they are: ‘I am having the thought that no one at the party liked me.’

Negative thoughts are only temporary

Defusion is not about banning negative thoughts altogether. In fact, defusion relies on us having a mindful approach to our negative thoughts: experiencing and noticing them, calling them what they are, and responding in a healthy way.

Next time you have a negative thought, acknowledge it, label it and move on. Try practicing gratitude for something good in your life, moving your body, treating yourself to a nutritious meal or snack, or reaching out to a loved one. The key is to feel the feeling and let it pass.

Reach out for support

Just like physical illnesses, the treatment and specialist care a person might need for one mental illness may not be suited to the next person.

As the largest private provider of mental health care in Australia, we are dedicated to making a real difference in the lives of those we treat, with whatever pathway they need.

We offer a range of services designed to support people experiencing mental health issues including anxiety, depression, and a wide range of other conditions.

We encourage you to reach out to our expert team who can assist you in finding the right avenue for your mental health care journey.