Hi guys and girls. Hope all is well. I will be covering 7 different types of cognitive distortions and how to tell if you have distorted thinking. This myTake is inspired from my Cognitive Behavioral Therapy classes. Cognitive distortions are illogical thoughts that can convince someone that unsubstantiated and unrealistic thoughts are true.Those thoughts will reinforce negative feelings and emotions that will make you believe it's actually the most logical and rational way to go. Hopefully you will be able to identify at least one distortion you have or had in the past. This is not an all inclusive list. There are 15 different cognitive distortions that I will cover but only 7 for this myTake. Let's get started
Personalization is a way in which a person personalizes everything that happens to them. They feel responsible in some kind of way for everything that goes wrong in their lives. For example, if someone forgets to respond to a message and you instantly think "they are not texting me back because they are mad or they hate me" this is considered a distorted thought. Usually when these thoughts happen it is automatic. It's the first thing that comes to mind when something goes wrong. Do you manage to find a way to make it personal? If so, you have some distorted thinking. Don't take things so personally.
Filtering is when you are focusing solely on being negative and ignoring anything positive. For example, let's say you ask a question asking for help with something negative that is happening to you, and you receive really good POSITIVE advice, but instead of taking the advice and adjusting your thinking you reject all the help that's being offered to you. You are content with being negative and nothing that anyone says will make you see the positives. Are you a negative Nancy or Nick?
Catastrophizing occurs when you start assuming the worst case scenario of a given situation or experience. For example, you are going to get your license for the first time and you think "I am going to fail, I am going to have a car accident, I will have to come back and take it again, etc" Did you notice how fast that got elevated? If you tend to jump to the absolute worst possible outcome then you may be catastrophizing. This is my go to distortion and the one I have to work on the most. When I have anxiety, I naturally catastrophize because fight, flight, freeze is activated. Moving on
4. The "Shoulds"
"Should of, would of, could of." Do you have the Shoulds? I should have finished my homework, I should have taken that raise, I should have taken that job, I should have texted him back, I should have called her back, etc. If you are suffering from the "Shoulds" then your thinking may be distorted. The best way to tell is to see how many times a day you use the word "should." Stop shoulding yourself.
5. Global Labeling And Mislabeling
Global labeling occurs when one generalizes a few situations, events, people or experiences and makes a judgement. Usually when this happens they will use emotionally fueled and exaggerated language. So for instance, you meet two people from a certain culture and use that to make an outrageous judgement, opinion, or observation. For example, "why are all white girls only interested in different races", "why do all women like to hurt men", "why do black girls only date black guys", "why do all women hate men", "why do all men hate women", "in Japan everyone hates black people" (this was my personal favorite) the list goes on and on. This may indicate distorted thinking
6. Mind Reading
Mind reading occurs when someone can intuitively figure out what someone else is thinking. Usually mediums and clairvoyants are the only mind readers that are acknowledged and even then their abilities have limits. So it's safe to say there is a 99.9% chance that you cannot read someones direct thoughts. Instead, you are making assumptions about others' thoughts. For example, have you ever tried to tell someone what they were thinking? "I know you must think I am dumb", "I know you must think I am crazy", "I know you must think I am fat", etc. If you are a self proclaimed mind reader then your thinking could possibly be distorted.
7. Jumping To Conclusions
Jumping to conclusions occurs when you decide the outcome of any given situation without factual evidence. For example, a girl cancels a dinner date and your automatic thought is "she is not interested", this is considered jumping to conclusions, filtering, personalization, and mind reading all in one automatic negative thought. It is very important to practice mindfulness to gain full awareness of self. Only with awareness will you be able to identify which distortions you have. If you want tips on how to rid yourself of these harmful distortions please let me know!!!!!!! The end.
Hi guys and girls thanks again for reading and leaving feedback. Cognitive work is not easy and can take years to effectively change one's behavior but it worked for me and I hope this information will be useful for others. There is a way to rid yourself of these cognitive distortions and I would love to cover a mytake if that would be beneficial for readers. Please let me know if you need tips to control distorted thinking!!!!! Disclaimer: I do not own or profit off of the Illustrations utilized in this post. Please give credit to the artists and support their works by giving a like or a follow to their pages. They are extremely talented and deserve recognition. Sending ☮️ and love ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️
Have A Wonderful COLORFUL Day