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Automatic thinking is a stream of thinking that is triggered by events or memories and ideas. It is often outside of your awareness, but you can easily bring it back into your awareness. Automatic thinking is predominantly negative, often constant and continuous, and can be thought of as ‘mind chatter.’
The quickest way to get away from something you don’t want (e.g., anxiety) is to avoid or escape from it. After all, this is what your cat or dog does whenever it is afraid or scared. Avoiding things seems to work — you feel instant relief and your anxiety lessens. But if it works, why does the anxiety persist?
Thinking styles happen when you habitually process information in a certain way. Thinking habits become ingrained and can stay below your conscious awareness, so starting to notice and ‘catch’ these thinking habits is the first step to making changes.