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Types of Thinking Errors- Part 1

Types of Thinking Errors- Part 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BY SANJHI GANDHI

Thinking errors are also known as cognitive distortions. They are; false and inaccurate, have no basis in reality, and are not healthy patterns of thinking. They are entirely normal, and everyone has them; it’s just part of being human. However, when they’re too frequent or too intense, they can contribute to problems like depression and anxiety.

o today, let’s educate ourselves on five of the ten cognitive distortions.

• All-or-Nothing Thinking

Also known as “Black-and-White Thinking,” you see things in terms of extremes-something is either fantastic or awful, you believe you are either perfect or a total failure, there is no middle ground, nor shades of grey.

• Overgeneralisation

Seeing a pattern based on a single event or being overly broad in the conclusions we draw. More specifically, it’s the tendency to use our past experiences as a reference point for making assumptions about the present or future circumstances. In other words, you are essentially using a past event to predict the future. For instance, whenever you say that “Everyone always… She never…” this highlights an overgeneralisation.

• Should And Must

This is a cognitive distortion where we tend to make unrealistic and unreasonable demands on ourselves and others. You might for instance say, “I must… I should… You must… You should…”. These statements put undue pressure. If we apply “should’ to other people, the result is often frustration.

• Jumping To Conclusions

Jumping to conclusions is a cognitive distortion where we tend to make irrational assumptions about people and circumstances. We, for instance, assume that something will happen in the future (fortune-telling) or assume that we know what someone else is thinking (mind-reading). The problem is that these conclusions are rarely if ever based on facts or concrete evidence, but rather based on personal feelings and opinions.

• Mental Filter

Similar to overgeneralisation, the mental filter distortion focuses on a single negative piece of information and excludes all the positive ones. An example of this “I have a zit on my nose; now I’m ugly; everyone will think I’m disgusting.” In this mental filter, you pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it

exclusively so that your vision of all reality becomes darkened.

Everything always begins with a thought. How we think and how we interpret the world around us influences how we feel. Even if you are not struggling with depression, anxiety, or another serious mental health issue, it doesn’t hurt to evaluate your thoughts now and then. The sooner you catch a cognitive distortion and are able to address it, the less likely it is to make a negative impact on your life. Take charge of those thoughts by working through these five cognitive distortions for this week.

 

Thank You.

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