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Negative Thoughts And Cognitive Distortions

Negative thoughts are a struggle that everyone deals with. They can be complicated or masked for some people as cognitive distortions. Cognitive distortions are ways your mind tricks you into thinking negative thoughts. Oftentimes, these cognitive distortions have become so commonplace in your mind that you don’t even know they are there. This only feeds them. It’s important to take note of the way you are thinking. Try to stop your negative thoughts as they enter your mind, instead of letting them spiral further and further downward. Of course, this is probably easier said than done. In a moment of stress, when you didn’t get a good grade or you messed up on a job at work, you may fall into negative thinking patterns. Stopping these thoughts as they pop up is good. It becomes a problem when they snowball. We want to give you ways to figure out how to challenge these negative thoughts and put an end to them. 

Challenge your thoughts

  • Decide if there is substantial evidence for the thoughts you are having. 
  • Decide if you can oppose these thoughts with evidence.
  • Decide if you have all the facts before you are making decisions.
  • Decide if someone on the outside looking in would be thinking the same thoughts you’re thinking.
  • Decide what you would tell a friend who was having the same thoughts you are having.
  • Decide if you are falling to one or more of the following cognitive distortions and ask yourself the following questions:
  • Always being right
  • Am I telling myself that it’s unacceptable to be wrong
  • Blaming
    • Am I blaming other people for things in my control?
  • Catastrophizing
    • Am I thinking of the worst-case scenario?
  • Emotional reasoning
    • Am I believing everything I am feeling?
  • Fallacy of change
    • Do I think that those around me should change?
  • Fallacy of control
    • Do I think that anything or nothing that’s happened is my fault?
  • Fallacy of fairness
    • Am I too concerned about what is fair?
  • Filtering
    • Am I only looking at the negatives of this situation?
  • Heaven’s reward fallacy
    • Do I believe that everything good will have a reward?
  • Jumping to conclusions
    • Is there any evidence to support my thoughts?
  • Misleading
    • Am I exaggerating what is happening?
  • Overgeneralization
    • Am I thinking that everyone is going through the same thing?
  • Personalization
    • Am I blaming myself for things outside of my control?
  • Polarized thinking
    • Am I looking at black and white, but no gray?
  • Should statements
    • Am I thinking too much about “shoulds”?

Identifying the thoughts you are having is the first step toward getting help for them and stopping them. If you are struggling with intense negative feelings, reach out to Villa Tranquil Recovery today. We have a trained and experienced staff that can be reached at 214-799-3080. We can’t wait to hear from you.