Types of Unhelpful Thoughts

Being able to notice unhelpful thoughts is the first step you can take to adjust them to more helpful ones. Have a look at the following examples – do you recognise any of these thoughts?


‘Should thoughts’ are when you apply an agenda to people or situations that is not necessarily reasonable.

“I should have more control over…”

Should thoughts are particular common thoughts. They are thoughts that everyone has. Sometimes you might think about should thoughts in relation to other people.

An example of a ‘Should’ thought could be:

“I should be able to do that.”

Generally should thoughts are not particularly helpful, because who is to say that you should be able to do things. You might be putting yourself under unnecessary pressure.

Whenever you’re having a should thought, it’s worth just pausing and thinking, “is this really true? Do I really need to do this? Should I really be able to do that?”