15 Cognitive Distortions You May Unknowingly Participate In

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15 Cognitive Distortions You May Unknowingly Participate In

Cognitive distortions are ways our brain tells us to believe something that isn’t true. Our brain uses negative thoughts and emotions to try and convince us that our irrational thoughts are accurate. Pinnacle Recovery wants to go over 15 different cognitive distortions below.


  • All or Nothing Thinking


All or nothing thinking is when we see things in only black or only white. There are no gray areas with all or nothing thinking. 


  • Always Being Right 


Always being right is when we try to make sure we believe we are never wrong. This often means we tend to ignore the truth.


  • Blame


Blame is when we hold someone else accountable for something that is not in their control.


  • Disqualifying the Positive


Disqualifying the positive is when we take a long and hard look at ourselves and reject all of the positives. For example, someone may give us a compliment and we brush it off and don’t believe it. 


  • Emotional Reasoning


Emotional reasoning is when we assume, incorrectly, that a negative thought is actually true. It usually is not true.


  • Jumping to Conclusions — “Fortune Telling”


Fortune telling is when we try to predict what will happen, usually that something bad will happen. Then, we end up believing the negative conclusions we have jumped to.


  • Jumping to Conclusions — “Mind Reading”


Mind reading is when we believe that we can know what everyone else around us is thinking. We often jump to conclusions, thinking that the other person is thinking the worst about us. 


  • Labeling


Labeling is when we slap an unfair word onto ourselves and we end up believing the negative thing we are telling ourselves. This often comes from what we think others are thinking. 


  • Magical Thinking


Magical thinking is when we believe that what we do has a say in everything around us. This often makes us think we are bigger and more meaningful than everything around us.


  • Magnification


Magnification is when we blow up the negative things about ourselves — our flaws and mistakes — and we make them much larger than they actually are. 


  • Mental filtering


Mental filtering is when we filter out all of the positives in our lives and just focus on the negatives.


  • Overgeneralizing


Overgeneralization is when we see one situation as negative, and then we spiral into seeing everything as negative. This becomes a never-ending cycle of negativity.


  • Personalization


Personalization is when we hold ourselves accountable for something that is completely out of our control.


  • “Should” Statements


Should statements are when we believe we should be better or should be smarter or should be faster at a certain thing. With should statements, we make ourselves believe we are not hopeful about our situations.


  • Underestimating Your Ability to Cope


Underestimating your ability to cope is when we doubt ourselves and our abilities to cope with a certain situation.

If you are stuck in a pattern of negative thinking, Pinnacle Recovery wants to help you. Call our staff today to learn more about the programs we offer. You can reach us at 1-866-301-0573. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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