cognitive distortions

Cognitive Distortions are unhelpful and often irrational thoughts that can influence how you feel and behave.   

Everyone experiences cognitive distortions to some degree, but in their more extreme forms they can be damaging can maintain and perpetuate conditions like stress, anxiety and depression . 

Read through the list below.  Which cognitive distortions do you identify with?

Magnification and Minimisation: Exaggerating or minimising  the importance of events. One might believe their own achievements are unimportant, or that their mistakes are excessively important.

Catastrophising: Seeing  only the worst  possible outcomes of a situation.

Overgeneralisation: Making broad  interpretations from a single or few events. “I felt awkward during my job interview. I am always so awkward.”

Magical Thinking: The belief thatacts will influence unrelated situations. “I am a good person—bad things shouldn’t happen to me.”

Personalisation: The belief that  one is responsible for events outside of their own control.  “My mom  is always  upset. She would be fine if I did more to help her.”

Jumping to Conclusions: Interpreting the meaning of a situation with little or no evidence.

Mind Reading: Interpreting the thoughts and beliefs of others without  adequate evidence. “She would not go on a date  with me. She probably  thinks I’m ugly.”

Fortune Telling: The expectation that a situation will turn out badly without adequate evidence.

Emotional Reasoning: The assumption that emotions reflect  the way things  really are. “I feel like a bad friend, therefore I must be a bad friend.”

Disqualifying the Positive: Recognising only the negative aspects of a situation while ignoring the positive. One might receive  many compliments on an evaluation, but focus on the single piece  of negative feedback.

“Should” Statements: The belief thatthings should be a certain way. “I should always be friendly.”

All-or-Nothing Thinking: Thinking in absolutes such as “always”, “never”, or “every”. “I never do a good enough job on anything.”

Want more optimistic, realistic thoughts?  Contact us