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Unhelpful Thinking Habits: Jumping to Conclusions

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about the unhelpful thinking habit of jumping to conclusions. So how often have you had an argument or a fallout with a friend or a loved one because one of you jumped to a false conclusion? I mean, I know in my life, this has happened many times both when I made the wrong conclusion or the other person did. Either way, it was always a painful experience, you know? So we're all prone to this unhelpful way of thinking from time to time, because it's kind of just the way that our mind evolved. So the human mind generally dislikes uncertainty.

So it attempts to fill in the gaps of what we don't know as quickly as possible, even when we really kind of know that we don't have all the information yet. But the mind wants certainty so much that sometimes we form fixed ideas based on very little evidence and information because it takes the path of least effort and the most speed. So it's easier to just come to a conclusion for the mind then to take the time to sort through all the necessary information. This way, the mind doesn't have to tolerate that feeling of uncertainty for long. But often when we're jumping to conclusions or over-generalizing things it's because we're feeling some kind of negative emotion or stress.

This triggers our fight or flight response. And that makes our brain hypervigilant for threats. So your mind is primed to kind of make a quick snap judgment, to look for faults and see the negative. So an example of jumping to conclusions or over-generalizing things might be like this. So let's say you, you go for a job interview and you're not sure if it went well.

So you go home and then you find yourself thinking, he's never going to hire me. No one ever hires me. Or you get a bad grade on a test, just one test and you think, I'm so stupid. I'm going to fail all my tests. Or maybe you meet someone for lunch, right, and they're 20 minutes late.

So you think to yourself, this person is so rude and inconsiderate. Or maybe you go on a date and the other person doesn't contact you for 24 hours and you think he, or she doesn't like me, no one ever likes me. So jumping to conclusions like this is really unhelpful, painful, and often very limiting. But once we begin to bring awareness to this mental habit, we can let it go. So here's my invitation.

Today, just try to notice when you're jumping to any kind of conclusion about yourself, about life, about others. And when you do notice that habit, just pause, breathe and remind yourself that it's just the mind jumping to a conclusion. And then question the conclusion. Is this thinking actually true? Do I have enough evidence for this conclusion? Are there other possible ways of seeing this situation? Is there more to this? So by taking a moment to pause and check in with yourself like this, you step back from the unhelpful thoughts and therefore become more calm, present and non-reactive. I wish you well with this practice.

I hope you enjoy this practice. And as always, thank you for doing this work and your presence here with us. And let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

Unhelpful Thinking Habits: Jumping to Conclusions

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about the unhelpful thinking habit of jumping to conclusions. So how often have you had an argument or a fallout with a friend or a loved one because one of you jumped to a false conclusion? I mean, I know in my life, this has happened many times both when I made the wrong conclusion or the other person did. Either way, it was always a painful experience, you know? So we're all prone to this unhelpful way of thinking from time to time, because it's kind of just the way that our mind evolved. So the human mind generally dislikes uncertainty.

So it attempts to fill in the gaps of what we don't know as quickly as possible, even when we really kind of know that we don't have all the information yet. But the mind wants certainty so much that sometimes we form fixed ideas based on very little evidence and information because it takes the path of least effort and the most speed. So it's easier to just come to a conclusion for the mind then to take the time to sort through all the necessary information. This way, the mind doesn't have to tolerate that feeling of uncertainty for long. But often when we're jumping to conclusions or over-generalizing things it's because we're feeling some kind of negative emotion or stress.

This triggers our fight or flight response. And that makes our brain hypervigilant for threats. So your mind is primed to kind of make a quick snap judgment, to look for faults and see the negative. So an example of jumping to conclusions or over-generalizing things might be like this. So let's say you, you go for a job interview and you're not sure if it went well.

So you go home and then you find yourself thinking, he's never going to hire me. No one ever hires me. Or you get a bad grade on a test, just one test and you think, I'm so stupid. I'm going to fail all my tests. Or maybe you meet someone for lunch, right, and they're 20 minutes late.

So you think to yourself, this person is so rude and inconsiderate. Or maybe you go on a date and the other person doesn't contact you for 24 hours and you think he, or she doesn't like me, no one ever likes me. So jumping to conclusions like this is really unhelpful, painful, and often very limiting. But once we begin to bring awareness to this mental habit, we can let it go. So here's my invitation.

Today, just try to notice when you're jumping to any kind of conclusion about yourself, about life, about others. And when you do notice that habit, just pause, breathe and remind yourself that it's just the mind jumping to a conclusion. And then question the conclusion. Is this thinking actually true? Do I have enough evidence for this conclusion? Are there other possible ways of seeing this situation? Is there more to this? So by taking a moment to pause and check in with yourself like this, you step back from the unhelpful thoughts and therefore become more calm, present and non-reactive. I wish you well with this practice.

I hope you enjoy this practice. And as always, thank you for doing this work and your presence here with us. And let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

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