6 Cognitive Distortions That Could Be Fueling Your Anxious Thoughts
A cognitive distortion is the irrational thinking that is covered in negativity. It is a biased perspective that we take on the world around us and ourselves. It is an irrational belief and thought that we unknowingly reinforce. The result of cognitive distortion is toxic and often leads to anxiety and stress.
The cognitive distortions positively relate to symptoms of depression. Here are six cognitive distortions that fuel anxiety:
1. Absolute thinking or polarized thinking: It refers to a situation where you believe that there is only right or wrong of any given situation or view. Polarized thinking happens when you base your expectations on the single event and outcome, and it becomes a mental perspective through which you see the reality. This thinking pattern results in distorting the vision of life. The best way to overcome this thinking pattern is by accepting that there are several levels between disaster and achievement.
2. Mental filtering: It refers to the process of taking the negative aspects and magnifying them and filtering out the positive aspect of any situation. The person picks out a single unpleasant detail and thinks about it so much that their vision of reality becomes distorted.
3. Personalization or jump to conclusions: This is the thinking pattern wherein people believe that everything people do or say is a kind of reaction to their saying or doing. If somebody walks right by you, you think that they must be upset with you. The biggest problem is that you try to interpret every experience and conversation and look at each as a clue to your value.
4. Overgeneralization: The person tends to anticipate that one adverse circumstance will become the life pattern. The person starts to approach the prediction as if they were the facts. The clue that this type of thinking is at work is that you often use words like “never” and “always.”
5. Should statements: Should is a poor motivator and often makes us feel anxious and guilty. Rather than should and shouldn’t you should find the real motivator of why they want to do something particular. Resentment and guilt are often the results of this thinking pattern.
6. Attribution errors: It is irrational to believe that you can rightly know the reason for the way people behave. Their actions may or may not be deliberate or not directed at you at all. Their reaction might be the outcome of their accident.
There is no denying to the fact that you feel what you think and as soon as you realize this, you will be on your way to recognizing the thoughts that lead to depression and anxiety. Believe it or not, this is the first step to change the destructive ideas that improve your mood from anxious to empowered. You can start by recognizing the voice in your head and figuring out the faulty thinking patterns.
In the end, remember, you have the power to control your attitude, emotion, and thoughts. You need to understand the distorted thinking pattern and start taking control of these as soon as possible to live a healthy and normal life.