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  • Amy Smitke

Anxiety and Thinking Errors

Cognitive distortions are negatively biased errors in thinking that are not based in facts. In the words of rapper “my mind is playing tricks on me.” Your mind is convincing you that those negative thoughts are fact.


Cognitive distortions otherwise known as thinking errors contribute depression, stress, and anxiety. When we begin to learn what cognitive distortions or thinking errors look like then

we are better equipped to handle them. A few common thinking errors are:


1. Fallacy of Change

Expecting others to change their ways to fit your needs, specifically once you pressure them. I know they’ll change because I want to them too.


2. Blaming

The belief that others have power to affect your life more than you do, making other responsible for your feelings. You made me feel awful all week.


3. Overgeneralization

Turning an isolated negative event into a pattern of defeat. “Always, Never, Nothing” I never get anything I want, it’ll always goes wrong.


4. Catastrophizing

Jumping to conclusions by creating the worst possible scenario. I expect the worst to happen every time.


5. Control Fallacies

When you feel responsible of everything in your life and other’s lives or you have no control of anything. I am responsible for the pain of others


6. Should's

Statements that are ironclad rules set for yourself and others without consideration for the specific circumstances. This is the way life should be, and everyone should know.


7. Emotional Reasoning

The way you feel is a reflection of reality or a determination of future events. I feel it so it has got to be true.


Use these few examples to find out what thinking errors potentially cause those uncomfortable feelings. With increased awareness of what these errors look like, eventually we can learn to balance our thoughts.


Until next time, stay motivated.

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