What not to think: Getting rid of your thinking faux pas

  • Published
  • By Capt. Kellie Hyde and Jacqueline Parrish
  • 23rd Medical Group
It is safe to assume that just about everyone is familiar with fashion faux pas.

For example, socks with flip flops, knee highs with a skirt, or black socks with shorts.
One type of faux pas that we rarely talk about is the "thinking faux pas."

Though we probably do not realize it, most of us are guilty of committing thinking faux pas every day, sometimes several times a day. Here are a few common thinking faux pas:

· You come home from a long day at work and continue to dwell on the one thing that went wrong and ignore what went right.
· You believe you know exactly what your spouse is thinking, without even talking to them.
· You believe that your supervisor, spouse, mother, etc., is responsible for your problems.

These are just a few of the many thinking faux pas we commit each and every day.

The problem is that these thinking faux pas often go undetected.

In other words, these styles of thinking become so automatic that we are not aware of them and they can get us into trouble before we realize it. This is because how we choose to make sense out of things (how we think) determines our mood.

The first step in changing our mood is recognizing how our thoughts influence our emotions.

For example, on your way home from work, a vehicle cuts you off while driving down Bemiss Road. If you are like most people, a common reaction would be to get irritated or even angry, your heart rate will increase and you may say profanity out loud.

This happens because you are making automatic assumptions about the driver who just cut you off--you are making a thinking faux pas.

The bottom line is our thoughts have a significant impact on what we feel. I challenge you to bring awareness into your own thinking style. Determine how many times a day you commit thinking faux pas.

Once you increase your awareness, begin challenging yourself to consider different ways of thinking about situations. You will begin to feel a physical and emotional change that is guaranteed to make you feel much happier and more peaceful.