Cognitive Distortions – Part 1

If you struggle with daily life, there is a good chance you may be suffering from a cognitive distortion. Cognitive distortions, also known as automatic negative thoughts (ANTs), are thinking patterns that are not actually in line with reality. These sorts of thoughts can lead to a number of reactions like sadness, angry outbursts, procrastination, mistrust and a number of other feelings and reactions. In this post and the post that follows it, you can find the most common cognitive distortions. Should you recognize these are familiars in your life, it may be time to seek a therapist to help you work past them.

  1. Filteringdreamstime_xxl_53069315

    When someone suffers from this cognitive disorder, they are known for blowing the negative details of a day or situation out of proportion and ignoring all the positive things that occurred. In other words, they fixate on the negative and forget the positive.

  2. Polarized Thinking

    The easiest way to think about this sort of ANT is when people want “all or nothing” in any given situation. If someone gets rave reviews from all of the co workers but they get one bad review, none of the good ones mean anything. This can be extremely wearing on someone’s psyche.

  3. Overgeneralization

    This cognitive disorder occurs when someone takes one bad experience and applies it to every situation that even remotely resembles it from that point on.

  4. Catastrophizing

    Ever known someone who is always expecting the very worst out of every single day, every single person, every single situation? This is what people do who suffer from the cognitive distortion, catastrophizing.

  5. Personalization

    Some people take everything other people do and say as a reaction to them. This one is the hard way of saying “someone takes everything personally”. People with this ANT also tend to compare themselves to others constantly.

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