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Mental Health Awareness: Reframing Unhelpful Thinking Styles

by Alessia H.

May 09, 2022


This week is Mental Health Awareness Week – an annual event started by the Mental Health Foundation to focus on achieving good mental health 🧠  

Today, our friends at Tula Wellbeing are helping us address how we can Reframe Unhelpful Thinking Styles. 

Hear from @tulawelling’s Collective member, NHS superhero, psychiatrist and neuroscience specialist, Francesca. She offers some supportive approaches to counterbalance unhelpful thinking styles, and build a solid foundation for our mental health. “Thoughts are thoughts, not facts”. 💪

When our emotions are heightened it’s often our sympathetic nervous system (SNS) talking – fight or flight thoughts. There’s often not much engagement of our frontal lobe, which is the more rational part of the brain. This can lead us to a place where we overestimate threat, distort the truth and generate unhelpful thinking styles also known as Negative Automatic Thinking Styles (NATS). ⁠

Remember, thoughts are thoughts, not facts.


Examples of unhelpful thinking styles include:

  • Emotional Reasoning – Assuming that because we feel a certain way, what we think must be true
  • Labelling – Putting ourselves or other people in boxes
  • Should, must, ought – Using critical words can make us feel guilty, or like we’ve already failed

Rather than being able to create supportive action for ourselves or others, we can become caught up in a cycle of self-sabotage. This pattern of behaviour can prevent us from acknowledging and witnessing the feelings and the root of them.

By recognising this, and bringing this into our awareness, we can uncover the deeper feelings and begin to implement methods of rebalancing and recalibrating. This shifts the way we perceive ourselves, our inner experience, and the complexity of external situations.

By using these tips we can help familiarise ourselves with unhelpful thinking styles and  what triggers this thinking. Keep an eye out as we’ll be sharing more tips throughout the month for mental health awareness 👀



Want to know more about Tula?


Tula wants to shift the conversation around workplace wellness. By supporting teams from the ground up. Think of them as wellbeing strategists. Identifying your needs, within the context of your business culture, and giving everyone the tools to actually feel good and do good.

They help leaders and teams better understand themselves. They dig deep into the fundamentals of what it means to be happy, healthy and function well. Using our expertise to inform each session, workshop and conversation.

Check out their instagram @tulawellbeing and website: https://www.tulawellbeing.co.uk/ to find out more about what they do.

For more information on Mental Health Awareness, please head to The Mental Health Foundation or Mind.org

Photo by Sebastian Voortman from Pexels