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Cognitive Distortions and What to Do About Them

Cognitive Distortions and What to Do About Them

Certain patterns of thinking make you more likely to experience anxiety, depression, anger, and other problems. These patterns are called cognitive distortions, and you can learn to counter them.

Cognitive distortions are a type of thinking we are all vulnerable to. The term refers to thinking that is negatively biased in some way. The thoughts can be about ourselves, others, or the world around us. They often happen automatically — like a reflex.

Everyone experiences cognitive distortions to some degree, but when they happen a lot they can cause anxiety, low mood, and distress. 

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

  • Keep in mind that the way that you think about situations depends largely on your mood. 
  • Remember that your feelings are not facts! Your feelings mirror the way you think, and if your thinking isn’t accurate, your feelings will not entirely reflect the truth. 
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Here are the most common types of cognitive distortions (Burns, 1999):

  1. All-or-Nothing Thinking - The tendency to evaluate o...

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Cognitive distortions

When you think about your life, it is quite possible that you mind is playing tricks on you that can distort your view. 

Cognitive distortions—where your mind puts a ‘spin’ on the events you see and attaches a not-so-objective interpretation to what you experience—happen all the tim...

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All-or-nothing thinking

Seing people and situations in either/or categories, without allowing for complexity(e.g.: the best/the worst). In reality, our lives unfold in shades of gray.

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