Cognitive Distortions and How to Overcome Them

Understanding how Cognitive distortions can distort your view of the world and leave you feeling bad should be on everybody’s agenda. I hope young people will be taught this at school, it would save much heartache and really enable people to build confidence and self-esteem. Down with catastrophizing, personalising, labelling and all the other self limiting unhelpful cognitions, Steve

ahamkara

What is a cognitive distortion and why do so many people have them? Cognitive distortions are simply ways that our mind convinces us of something that isn’t really true. These inaccurate thoughts are usually used to reinforce negative thinking or emotions — telling ourselves things that sound rational and accurate, but really only serve to keep us feeling bad about ourselves.

cognitive distortions

For instance, a person might tell themselves, “I always fail when I try to do something new; I therefore fail at everything I try.” This is an example of “black or white” (or polarized) thinking. The person is only seeing things in absolutes — that if they fail at one thing, they must fail at all things. If they added, “I must be a complete loser and failure” to their thinking, that would also be an example of over-generalization — taking a failure at one specific task and…

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