Common Cognitive Distortions

Stress comes from our perception of the situation. Technically, the actual situation is not stressful; it is our perception that makes it stressful.

Here are some common unhelpful patterns of thinking that we all make as well as ways you can think about challenging these
thoughts.

  • Overgeneralising – You see a constant, negative pattern based on on event.
  • Blaming/Denying – You blame others for your problems or mistakes or you blame yourself when it wasn’t entirely your fault.
  • Should – You have a rigid code of conduct dictating how you and others should behave. You criticise yourself harshly when you fail to follow these rules.
  • All or nothing thinking – You see things as absolutes, no grey areas.
  • Negativity Bias – You notice all of the negatives, but fail to notice the positives.
  • Catastrophizing : You expect the worst.
  • Labeling : You label yourself negatively.
  • Magical Thinking : You think everything will be better when ____ (you’re thinner, smarter, richer, get a new job, etc).
  • Over personalising : You make things personal, when they aren’t. You believe other people’s opinions are facts. You think what other people do/say is in reaction to you.
  • Mind-reading : You make assumptions about what you are thinking.
  • Double standard : You hold yourself to a higher standard then everyone else.
  • Fallacy of fairness : You think things should work out according to what you think is fair.
  • Emotional reasoning : You think your feelings are reality.

Take on the daily challenge of recognising and changing these cognitive distortions. By changing our negative thinking, we may find ourselves worrying less and enjoying life more.

44 Comments Add yours

  1. B.Reilly says:

    πŸ’™ These are more common than we realize!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      Yes. Awareness helps us to catch them before we fall in too deep.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Someswar says:

    As a physician you must be knowing about the disease of thinking one has whatever symptoms one reads about (is it hypochondria?). I seem to be having ALL those you listed. Shahir Ludhianvi asked: “Ye diniya agar mil bhi jaye to kya hai?” I ask “Ye duniya agar MIT bhi jaye to kya hai?” Poet SriSri asked “Emunnadi garva karanam?” (what is there to be roud of? — I know you do not know Telugu). I ask: What is there in the world to be positive about? Too many things are negative in life. How can positive thinking come?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      It’s a habit which needs to be reinforced again and again.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. dellymari says:

    These are so true and I recognize my use of them too often.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Yes we all do. The trick is to get right back at them by being aware of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Worth a read. Thanks for creating awareness through these posts. Really helpful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      You are most welcome Shreya. Glad you liked them. Cognitive bias is an umbrella term that refers to the systematic ways in which the context and framing of information influence individuals’ judgment and decision-making. In some cases, cognitive biases make our thinking and decision-making faster and more efficient. Thank you for stopping by today.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Keep throwing light on these topics often! Thank you! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Garima says:

        Will do. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  5. lily23456 says:

    I do alot of these I am really gonna try harder to not.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      Don’t be too hard on yourself. We all suffer from these common distortions.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. lily23456 says:

    ESpeacially emotional reasoning

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      Mine is All or nothing thinking hahha

      Liked by 1 person

  7. As I read the list I realize I rarely do these any more. There was a time 2 years ago when I have read these that these were the only ways I see life. I have worked very hard but with your post I can now see it is paying off. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      I am so happy to hear that Kate. You have come a long way it seems. Congratulations and kudos.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. inhiscare753 says:

    Thanks for sharing, quite informative.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Glad you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. inhiscare753 says:

        You are certainly welcome. I was sharing with a friend about your blog and wonderful tips. What was the title of the piece you did on essential oils for various skin conditions. Thought I saved it, problems locating it. Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. inhiscare753 says:

        Garima, thank you, truly appreciate links. I will indeed forward. πŸ€—πŸ’œ

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Garima says:

        You are most welcome πŸ™πŸΌ

        Liked by 1 person

      4. inhiscare753 says:

        Do you have one you did on Eczema, as well?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Garima says:

        Not yet. I could write a post on it if you want πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      6. inhiscare753 says:

        That would be wonderful, no pressure. Appreciate your kindness. πŸ˜ŠπŸ™πŸŒΈ

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Garima says:

        Happy to help πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  9. francisashis says:

    Very true,the moment we try to understand a situation in an extraordinary way we find ourselves in real trouble. Thanks a lot for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. francisashis says:

        πŸŒΉπŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸŒΉ

        Liked by 1 person

      2. francisashis says:

        πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Ki-Heug says:

    Hi Garima, cool list πŸ™‚ very insightful and informative.

    Magical Thinking stood out for me.. I often think things will be better (or that I’ll be happier) once I find a good job, the right partner, have kids, and so on. When maybe it’s best to focus on what I have now-today.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      Yes Ki, the best way to live is to live in the present. A trick to be more present is this : If you know someone that is more present than most people then you can pick his/her vibe of presence (just like you can pick up positivity or enthusiasm from people). If you don’t know someone like that I recommend listening to/watching cds/dvds by Eckhart Tolle. His books work too. But cds/dvds are better than books for picking up someone’s vibe since the biggest part of communication is voice tonality and body language.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ki-Heug says:

        Oh wow, yea that’s a neat trick, I’ll try to implement it whenever possible.. πŸ™‚ funny how Eckhart Tolle’s name gets tossed around a lot (along with his similars like Oprah, Deepak Chopra, etc.). I’ve seen some of his videos and his voice/way of talking is a bit too slow for my tastes err lol, even though it’s very relaxed and I know he means well.

        Thanks anyways Garima! Cheers πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Garima says:

        You are welcome. You can try Neville Goddard as well if you like.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. BellaDour says:

    This was so helpful! I’ve done all these things for years. I’m becoming better about being kinder to myself mentally and emotionally. It’s a process.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      I am glad you found them helpful Bella. These thinking traps cause us to perceive reality differently to how it really is, triggering feelings of negativity and pessimism (and in many cases, depression). Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Mayur says:

    Amazing post, you note down good point

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Thank you Mayur.

      Like

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