Learn About Automatic Thoughts And Cognitive Distortions

Everything we think it is a automatic thought. The problem arises when our automatic thoughts are manifested as cognitive distortions. Cognitive distortions are automatic thoughts that are based on fundamental beliefs deeply ingrained and irrational reactions that are usually have to situations. Often not even know we see the world in terms of these cognitive distortions. As its name suggests, are based on faulty reasoning. There are several common types of cognitive distortions.


As we move through life, we learn from our experiences. It is a natural process of trial and error. Problems arise when you look all similar experiences and decide that all the experiences of a certain nature is always going to leave the same way. View uses the word “all” and “always” in that last sentence? This is an allusion to overgeneralize. If Jane is dumped by her first boyfriend and decided from that moment that she is destined to always have dumped, I’d be doing an overgeneralization. This thinking does not take into account the different factors that affect all situations, however. Instead of assessing why it is abandoned by her first boyfriend and learn from actual experience as it happened, just decided to learn a general lesson about the nature of relationships. Obviously, this can lead to problems. As you go through relationships later in life under this assumption, it will be much more likely to act in ways that meet their fears. She will not be able to open and communicate in relationships because they feel comfortable. This will lead to more experience of getting dumped, and if it continues to overgeneralize, this will only reinforce the assumption. Also prevents him from learning about the subtle complexities of their experiences.


The labeling is similar to overgeneralize. You can take the form of making broad generalizations about a group of people on the basis of the actions of a few of them. It may also appear as self-labeling. Auto-labeling may have very negative effects. If a person gets a bad grade on a math test and automatically say, “I’m bad math student, not taking the necessary steps to improve their math skills. “Bad math student” is a label that has been applied to themselves, and most likely not true. With further study, this person would be able to figure out what they did wrong and how to do well. Instead, by labeling themselves as a “bad math student, do not have to take responsibility to work to learn about math. These labels are counterproductive, and often lead us to create the situation that is causing us problems.

Mind reading

We often assume we know what people are thinking of us, even if their actions are neutral or to indicate otherwise. This refers to the mind as reading. Everyone knows that we really can not read minds. If you’re having a conversation with someone and right about something, we are prone to automatically think, “Oh, no, they think I’m an idiot!” This probably is not true, we are much more critical of ourselves than others are of us. In fact, you probably do not even think anything at all about our error. However, we will let you assume that we think affect our behavior for the rest of our conversation with that person, and this could make for some negative outcomes if we had not assumed that they thought that the worst of us.


When we assume we know what will happen in the future, we guess. Dave is looking for a job. Each time you get to send resumes, thinks, “There’s no way I’ll even be considered for these jobs.” He sent resumes anyway, but never followed up with a phone call or tries to interviews. Because it automatically assumes that you will not get the job, is not very hard to stand out from other applicants. He is convinced they are better than him. Your fortunate to have in this situation prevents him from putting forth any effort. Not surprisingly, he does not get jobs, but because his fortune is saying negative control their behavior. Many times we try to predict the future in situations without any evidence to support our claim, and sometimes even try to predict an outcome when it is proven otherwise. negative fortune telling without adequate objective evidence to us up for failure, because we will be much less likely that the situation of the opportunity they deserve.

Emotional reasoning

As we have seen, sometimes our automatic thoughts are based on irrational assumptions. If we stop to think rationally, breaking down on the basis of solid evidence, then we see them as irrational and replace them with new points of view, more rational. If we analyze emotional reasoning, however, we feed them and misleading conclusions. Basically, emotional reasoning is to base our thoughts and beliefs of our feelings. If you are preparing to give a speech at a meeting and you’re nervous, you might think, “should not be very well prepared. Otherwise it would not be so nervous. I’ll make a fool of me!” Even though they spent several hours the day before preparing the materials and information in this presentation, which is discounting this, because you’re nervous about speaking in front of your boss and co work. Nervousness is a normal emotional reaction to the situation, but that does not mean you do not know the material. This reasoning does not work because the only evidence used is the way it feels in a given situation, and ignores all other factors operating at the time.


“Shoulding yourself” is to criticize yourself to concentrate on all the things I should be doing instead of what you’re doing at the time. If you’re watching a movie and all I can think is, “I should be studying and cleaning the kitchen / walk the dog,” which minimize any possible enjoyment you could be going to see the movie. They also make it much less likely that you will actually do all those things you “should” be doing. Simply saying, “I should be studying,” they do in a task completely devoid of any benefit, and I will not. If instead you think, “If I study now, tomorrow I’ll have more time to hang out with my friends, and I’d rather be with them tomorrow to see this movie right now,” then you are weighing their options and make the decision to study will give a positive result. Sure, everyone has obligations in situations that have to care, and these obligations are not always exactly what we would be doing at this time. In weighing the costs and benefits and not simply the imposition of “duties” of any obligation, we can make the most of our time and enjoy life more. Some duties are even more harmful. While “should be studying, you will most likely only lead to delay” should be reading a classic novel by Dickens instead of this science fiction, fantasy fiction because I have to be smarter, “is worse because it based on the idea that we must move even our free time doing what others expect of us (or, in many cases, what we think is expected of us) instead of what we like or think is right. A great example is people who go to college because they think they “should.” If, after weighing all options, someone decides that college is not the best option for them, not have to go, even if they think that others judge for that election. “Shoulding” can lead us to make major life decisions that are not necessarily the best real options.

Customization / Authorship

Personalization is when we take responsibility for the results that are beyond our control. Guilt is when we point a finger at someone else for a result of something we have caused. Personalization and blame are both based on the assumption that people should be perfect and not make mistakes and when mistakes are made, someone has to be guilty and ordered to pay. The problem here is that everyone makes mistakes, and mistakes are simply an opportunity to learn to be better and grow. Punishment is not necessary for errors every day, the idea is to see where we went wrong and try to do better in the future. It also means learning to distinguish between things we did wrong, he could not control factors (such as other people’s reactions, opinions and ideas), and the things that were caused by other actions. Let’s say that Jane, who is dumped some examples, dumped because her boyfriend is away and would not try to maintain a long distance relationship. If she says, “I do not care what he says. I have dumped because I’m ugly and stupid”, then she is blamed for the outcome of a situation, when in fact it had nothing to do with who she is. It was not her fault she had to move, and it was not his fault that he does not believe in long distance relationships. Now he feels guilty for being herself (which, incidentally, is not “ugly” or “stupid”, it is cognitive distortions in themselves).

All or Nothing

all or nothing thinking is the same as saying: “Everything is black or white.” Perfectionists often engage in all or nothing thinking. People are either all good or all bad. An example would be if Bob stayed up one morning and thought: “I have no time to run my usual full 5 miles today, so I will not run at all. I’m lazy.” Although Bob has time to run three miles, which has left because he can not see the benefits in changing its norm. It also decided that this automatically makes him a “bad” person. Many women participate in the “all or nothing thinking about their bodies. They think,” Either I am slim, toned and a perfect size 6, or I am a disgusting fat slob in a size 10. “This is a distortion, does not take into account that people are different. There are variations in height, frame and muscular structure that can influence our size. In this example, an” all or nothing thinking can lead to most damaging of all or nothing thinking as: “I’m already fat, so you might as well just eat that pint of ice cream and a box of crackers or the other end,” I’m so fat, you should only eat and apple for breakfast, lunch and dinner. ” All or nothing thinking sees things as absolute rather than a combination of factors. It also assumes that people, places and things can be perfect, and you are not completely free of defects that must be horrible.

All of these cognitive distortions can have undesirable effects on our feelings and behavior. By learning to recognize them, we learn to talk ourselves out of such thinking and see things in a more positive light. They are not going away just because we realize they are there, but we can learn to detect when they do emerge and change our point of view by applying a more rational thinking.