Mental Health Check-up for ‘Stinking Thinking’

Article by Rosalin Primrose
Senior Author

Choosing your thoughts carefully is a key skill to maintaining good MENTAL HEALTH.  Often, we can’t do much about the things that happen around us and to us – but we can take note of the thoughts we have about those events.   You might have heard the term Stinking Thinking but perhaps you haven’t checked your own thoughts to see where they lead you.  Psychologist Laura L. Smith has a checklist you can use to see how your habits of thought might be generating healthy or distressing mental states.

Depressed man in front of laptop

'Awfulising' aggrivates stress


Here is Laura’s checklist to help you work through your thoughts and give yourself a MENTAL HEALTH CHECK-UP:

  • Awfulizing: this distortion involves making a mountain out of a molehill. In other words, thinking that a situation is far worse than it really is.
  • Negative predicting: people who use this distortion predict horrible events that haven’t and may never happen.
  • Mind reading: this involves believing that people are thinking certain (usually negative) thoughts without checking out the truth.
  • Self-tagging: labels are useful on food items in the grocery store; they are less useful when applied to a person. Self-tagging involves calling yourself negative names like stupid, idiot, ugly, or so on.
  • Shoulding: I should have known better or I should have done something differently. These statements are not really useful and often involve self-scolding.

To most of us, it feels like when something negative affects us, we automatically feel bad and then start thinking about what happened and how it affects us.  In reality, when something happens, your mind must first make sense and meaning of it, before feelings (distressing or pleasurable) are generated.  That’s the point at which you can choose how to think about the event and meaning it has for you.

If you notice that you have a case of Stinking Thinking that is making life stressful, ask for some help from a psychologist expert at Cognitive Behavioural Therapies (CBT).  Do yourself  a favor and take this quick MENTAL HEALTH CHECK-UP.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is used extensively as a primary treatment for Medicare clients under the Better Access Scheme in Australia.

Rosalin Primrose MA

Registered Psychologist
Mob: 0424 002 640




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Psychology, Counselling & Mediation Sunshine Coast Ph 0424 002 640

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Rosalin Primrose Psychology Services

Rosalin Primrose

MA , Reg Psych, (FDRP)
  • Medicare Provider No: 4197097T
  • Counselling Psychology Reg No: PSY 0000976237
  • Nationally Accredited Mediator & Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP)
‘Ocean Central’
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2 Ocean Street

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Ph: 0424 002 640

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