Different types of cognitive distortions:
▪️All or nothing - I’m the best employee/I’m the worst employee
▪️Labeling - I’m a loser
▪️Should and must - using these words as if we have failed
▪️Mental filter - focusing on the bad and ignoring the good
▪️Disqualifying the positive - ignoring the good
▪️Over-generalizations - guessing the future based on one event
▪️Jumping to conclusions - assuming we know the future or what others will do
▪️Emotional reasoning - we feel it so it must be true
▪️Personalization - blaming only ourselves when it’s others responsibility
▪️Catastrophising - turning molehills into a mountain
I recommend you take a moment and reflect about your recent conversations with yourself. Take note of times you have used negative logic with yourself. Notice if you have a tendency to reframe these cognitive distortions by looking at the evidence.
By looking at the evidence of a thought, we can try to reduce its ability to turn into a negative belief. Let’s take, for example, the belief that we are the worst employee (all or nothing reasoning). Then we could look at the evidence. We can think to ourselves: I’m rarely late, I try my best, and my supervisor provides positive feedback most of the time. Therefore, the conclusion would be that the original thought was false.
Sounds easy, right? With more practice, these cognitive distortions will be easier to catch. Remember, it’s not about always having something positive to say about ourself. It’s about accurately recognizing our strengths and areas of improvement.
For more information and practice, contact a Mental Health professional who specialized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in your area.
Megan Bowling, M.A., LMFT
Megan Bowling, M.A., LMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has been in the mental health field for more than ten years and is passionate about sharing mental health wellness strategies.