Many kinds of thinking

Most of us assume that thinking we do is simply thinking. It is what it is. There does not appear to be different ways to think, only more thinking to do. There also seems to be no way to stop the thinking that fills our minds and steals our attention.

Contrary to all these assumptions, there are many different kind so thinking we can do. We can change the kind of thinking we're doing. We can also stop thinking and experience the present moment with joy and inner peace. Here's eight kinds of thinking to help you better choose and change the thinking you're doing.

  • Hysterical thinking goes overboard with complaining by "awfulizing", "demonizing" or "catastrophizing" a minor incident into a big upset.
  • Even-handed thinking finds fault in oneself as well as others which translates complaints into more insightful views of others and oneself.
  • Stinkin' thinkin' rationalizes self-destructive behavior with a mixture of denial of the costly consequences and justifications for the toxic behavior.
  • Humbled thinking admits to the toxicity of the behavior and cost of the consequences without yet knowing how to change.
  • Irrational thinking ignores the actual facts and indulges in wild speculation with a paranoid imagination to become extremely apprehensive, belligerent or defensive.
  • Rational thinking faces the facts and applies logic to define the problems accurately and decide on further actions.
  • Panicked thinking goes into flight or fight mode in the face of danger, jumping to conclusions while dwelling on dichotomies.
  • Creative thinking considers different ways to see what seems obvious while inventing new possibilities for what is far from obvious.

Now you can assume you are doing one of many kinds of thinking at any given moment. Rather than simply do more thinking, you can see the possibility of doing some better thinking. You may even find ways to do less thinking and occasionally stop thinking altogether. Peace be with you.


  1. Hi Tom, this is a nice post. I listened to this talk today too, Gentling the Mind by Ajahn Sucitto

  2. Thanks Nicola!
    I'm listening to Sucitto as I write this. Thanks for the link.