Cognitive distortions and projections

What will you do when the

Cognitive Distortions are exaggerated and irrational thoughts. Eliminating these cognitive distortions can discourage things like chronic depression, self-loathing and anxiety. Cognitive distortions are ways that our brain convinces us of something that's not true. These negative thoughts reinforce negative self-talk or emotions.

Learning to refute these patterns of negative thoughts and irrational feelings is called cognitive restructuring, and is the basis for a type of therapy called "Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy."

How Do I Fix These Cognitive Distortions?

1) Identify the cognitive distortion - create a list of negative thoughts and examine them to determine the type of cognitive distortion we're using. This also allows us to think about our problem in more realistic ways.

2) Look at the evidence - thoroughly looking through the experience allows for us to identify the reasons for our distorted thoughts.

3) Double-Standard Method - If you're prone to negative self-talk, instead, talk to yourself as you would a friend or loved one in the same situation.

4) Touch of Grey - instead of polarizing our problems into an "either/or situation" use a larger model - a scale of 1-100. Partial successes are more easily measured on a larger scale.

5) Crowd-Source Opinions - Seek out the opinions of trusted loved ones about our attitudes and beliefs to see if we're being realistic.

6) Define It - What does it mean to call ourselves, "a loser, " "pathetic, " or "wrong?" Examining these global labels will determine where, exactly, this feeling is coming from. And knowledge is power.

7) Re-attribution - many of us automatically blame ourselves for the problems we have. Look for outside factors and other people who've contributed to the problem. No matter how responsible we feel about it, it's better to spend that energy fixing the problem or coping with the predicaments.

8) Cost/Benefit? - Take some time and make a list of the pros and cons of feelings, thoughts and behaviors. This list will help us figure out what we're getting from feeling bad, identify distorted thinking, and inappropriate behaviors.

Types of Cognitive Distortions:

Always Being Right - we're always on trial to prove that our own opinions and behaviors are correct. We cannot fathom being wrong and will go to any length to be right - and demonstrate it.

"Always" and "Never" Statements - "Always" and "Never" Statements are declarations containing the words "always" or "never". They are commonly used but rarely true.

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