SALT LAKE CITY, UT (Good Things Utah) – Have you been stuck in a cycle of negative or toxic thinking? McKenna Brown, a mental health educator, joined us today to show us how to escape the common thinking traps we fall into, helping our mindset and our relationships flourish. 

Thinking traps are cognitive distortions where people get caught in these negative beliefs and cycles that are difficult to escape. These thinking traps can affect our self-love, our self-confidence, and other parts of our life.

The way to escape these thinking traps is to start being aware of your thoughts. Once you are aware of what trap we are stuck in, you can start to rewire your brain to think in a more positive way. At first rewiring your brain and thinking differently may seem silly, but creating this awareness and rephrasing your thoughts is the first step to bettering your mental health. 

One of the thinking traps people get stuck in is called “catastrophizing”, where you only think of the worst case scenario that could happen. This trap happens with a lot of mother’s, and often comes in the form of intrusive thoughts. You can escape this trap by thinking of the facts of the situation, and by analyzing the chances of a catastrophe actually happening. This will help you to rewire your brain to be more positive, and will stop you from spiraling.

Another thing McKenna notices is that people often jump to blaming others, such as parents blaming their children, without taking accountability for their actions. Taking accountability and responsibility for something you did will help you create more thriving relationships, and can even be empowering. 

Making assumptions about how others feel is also very common, and instead of asking the other person and communicating, many people jump to conclusions. Opening up communication between you and the other person instead of assuming that they think something is one way to escape this trap, and learn not to take things so personally. 

Starting this cycle of positive thinking can help you and benefit your friends as well, creating awareness and a positive pattern of lifting people up. This rewiring takes time and consistency, and don’t feel down if it takes some time to turn your negative thoughts into positive thoughts. 

You can find all of the thinking traps and how to escape them on McKenna’s website at, and right now you can get 15% off of her journals with the code GTU15! You can also find her on Instagram and TikTok at @McKennaRoseBrown to hear more of her advice.