What To Do Once You Notice Cognitive Distortions - Deepstash
What To Do Once You Notice Cognitive Distortions

What To Do Once You Notice Cognitive Distortions

  • 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. 
  • Identify thoughts that may be contributing to your feeling anxious, depressed, or angry. 
  • Evaluate your negative thoughts by reviewing the evidence for and against them. 
  • Practice, and be patient with yourself. Identifying and talking back to distorted thoughts is a skill that takes time to develop.




MORE IDEAS FROM 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. 



Here are the most common types of cognitive distortions (Burns, 1999):

  1. All-or-Nothing Thinking - The tendency to evaluate oneself, others, or situations in extreme, black-and-white ways.
  2. Overgeneralization
  3. Hyper-focusing on negative aspects of oneself or a situation.
  4. Disqualifying the positive
  5. Jumping to conclusions
  6. Assuming that because you feel a certain way, your thoughts must be true
  7. Applying critical words like “should” or “must” to ourselves or others.
  8. Assigning negative labels to ourselves or others.
  9. Assuming responsibility for something that you do not have complete control over.




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Feeling Great by David D. Burns

The Book in Five Big Ideas

  1. Your negative emotions result from your thoughts and not from the circumstances of your life.
  2. The negative thoughts that upset you are nearly always distorted and twisted.
  3. When you can change the way you think, you can change the way you feel.
  4. Negative feelings always say something good about you
  5. People may resist treatment because they have mixed or even negative feelings about recovery or will have to do something they don’t want to do.



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 time.

We all have cognitive distortions, which are simply tendencies or patterns of thinking or believing, and they are especially common in people with depression and other mood disorders.




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.

Finding one alternative path between the 2 extremes can help break the pattern, and conceiving of a few more develops your skill in seeing the nuances in every situation.