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Top 5 Ways for Increasing Critical Thinking

Updated on April 20, 2016

Improving their critical thinking involves hard work to reach higher levels of learning. It’s a matter of changing peoples’ habits of thought that will become a process that can happen over the years to come. It requires a prolonged phase of developing to improve and take on the qualities of a critical thinker. If people follow the information shown below, critical thinking will eventually become a part of their experience in life.

People should understand there are 5 stages needed to develop into a critical thinker:

1. Use your wasted time

Everybody wastes some of their precious time whether it’s for work or pleasure. They are so busy jumping from one thing to another that they don’t enjoy any of them. Sometimes they become annoyed about difficulties that are beyond their control. Other times they neglect to plan ahead which causes adverse results that could have been avoided. Or they spend their time worrying, regretting, and sometimes just staring into space.

If people consider their options and think about it, they probably wouldn’t have wasted their time in these ways because now all that time is gone. People need to start using the time they usually waste to practice their critical thinking. They should spend some time thinking back over their day and then asking themselves questions about how it went.

o What was the best thing I did today?

o Was I frustrated by negative thinking?

o Would I have done anything differently?

It’s a good idea to record these thoughts and go back to them at a later date. The patterns of their thinking will become apparent.

2. Choose a problem a day

Begin each day by choosing a problem that needs to be worked on. Think about what the problem really is and figure a way to form it into questions. If this issue isn’t under one’s control, set it aside and work on one that is. Study the chosen problem to find out what needs to be done to solve it. The options need to be evaluated by considering their benefits in this situation. Adopt a deliberate approach and follow through whether it means taking action or thinking it through. People need to monitor the effects of their actions when following through.

3. Adopt logical ideas

Every week, choose one of the words below and try to build a higher awareness of the word.

Depth – Relevance – Clarity – Breadth – Accuracy – Significance – Precision – Logic

If the work “clarity” is the chosen word for the week, people need to begin by taking notice of the times they are not clear in their communication with others. Do the same thing when reading and writing. When speaking, state the words precisely and explicitly and elaborate by using other words.

Keep a journal

When beginning this journal, format it with the following and continue adding to it.

Ø Circumstance – Describe an emotionally meaningful condition of the present or past

Ø Reaction – Define what the reaction was to this situation

Ø Evaluate – Write down what was happening during this circumstance

Ø Valuation – Assess what was learned in the situation

Define how things are seen

Every situation is identified, or given significance, in today’s world whether it’s social or personal. And, it’s defined by the way people feel about it, how they act, and what implications it has for them. That being said, each situation can actually be determined in several ways. Each one carries with it some remarkable opportunities. It’s within people’s power to make their lives more fulfilling and happier. And most negative situations can usually be turned into positive ones. It’s deciding whether to be happy or sad in one’s life.

People can now become fulfilled rather than remaining frustrated in their lives. By changing the way they see things, they can turn a dead end to a beginning, a negative into a positive, and mistakes into learning opportunities. To make it easier and practical, people need to set some guidelines for themselves. Begin the process with this:

· 5 Adverse circumstances causing anger, frustration, worry, and unhappiness

Use this to find and define what is causing these feelings and if nothing can be done about it, then dismiss it. If it can be changed, find an alternate definition and prepare for new emotions and responses.


People become engaged in an experiment that’s personal when testing these ideas every day. As they begin to integrate and build on them, they’ll start to notice what social descriptions are ruling many of the situations in their lives. They begin to get in touch with their emotions when they realize that the way they see things will control these feelings.

For example is the situation is threatening the emotion will result in fear. And, if it’s failure, it will cause one to be depressed. People need to experiment with the different strategies and find ways to assimilate them into their life and their thinking. By following them, they begin to develop into a practical thinker. When advancing in these practices, the insightful and skilled thinking will become a natural part of their lives.


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    • Sneha Sunny profile image

      Sneha Sunny 

      2 years ago from India

      This is a great hub. I really like the "one problem a day" point. Baby steps are better than trying to take a huge step at once. I recently tried to keep a journal, but I'm quite irregular at maintaining it. I'll try again! :)


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