Thoughts. Distorted thoughts. Some call them cognitive distortions. Cognitive implies
we know. But we often don't. They can be
automatic. Automatic thoughts that we believe. Our mind says something is true. We use these thoughts to reinforce our thinking. Our negative thinking. Our negative moods. Our general outlook on life. What! I think thoughts to keep me feeling bad? Aaron T Beck was one of the first who had ideas about what we think. Distorted thinking. He learned if we could recognize these thoughts. These automatic distortions. We could feel better. We could think better. We could do better. Best part. We could BE better. Interesting thing. We all jump to distorted thinking. I try to notice when my thoughts jump. Jump to conclusions that may not be true. Here are a few examples.
- Overgeneralization. Come to a general conclusion based on a single event. One bad thing happens and we expect it to repeat over and over. Choose to see never-ending pattern. Friend is getting divorced. "No one values marriage anymore". You eat unhealthy food. "No one eats healthy anymore".
- Catastrophizing. We expect disaster to strike no matter what. Blow minor things out of portion. Teenage son sleeps in. "He will never finish high school". Roof leaks. "We need a complete roof and it will cost more then I have".
- Polaized Thinking. ALL or NOTHING. Good or Bad. Black or white. No shades. Friend gets hit by a car. "The roads are not safe". Porn on the internet. "Everything about the internet is just awful".
- Labeling. Extreme overgeneralization. Describing an event with emotionally loaded language. You make a mistake. "I'm a loser". Someone cuts you off in traffic. "He is a terrible driver". Girlfriend hires a babysitter. "She neglects her children."
- Should Statements. We have rules about how others should live. Husband is bored by sports. "Something is really wrong with my husband. He should like football". Another distortion. We tell ourselves shoulds. "I should cook dinner every night". "I should be happy". "I should read more".