5 important points –
1-Your negative emotions result from your thoughts and not from the circumstances of your life.
2-The negative thoughts that upset you are nearly always distorted and twisted.
3-When you can change the way you think, you can change the way you feel.
4-Negative feelings always say something good about you.
5-People may resist treatment because they have mixed or even negative feelings about recovery or will have to do something they don’t want to do
You feel the way you think. In other words, your negative emotions, like depression and anxiety, come from your thoughts and not from the circumstances of your life.
The negative thoughts that upset you are nearly always distorted and twisted. They’re just not true. Depression and anxiety are the world’s oldest cons.
When you can change the way you think, you can change the way you feel. Best of all, that change can happen rapidly, even if the feelings of depression and anxiety are severe.
While Feeling Good is about the cognitive revolution, Feeling Great is about the motivation revolution. “[Feeling Great] is based on the idea that we sometimes get “stuck” in depression and anxiety because we have mixed feelings about recovery,” writes Dr. Burns. “Although we may be suffering and desperately want to change, there may be powerful conflicting forces that keep us stuck. As strange as this might sound, part of you may fight against—or resist—the very change you’re yearning for.”
Cognitive distortions, which Dr. Burns introduced in Feeling Good, are highly misleading ways of thinking about yourself and the world. The following are ten of the most common cognitive distortions.
10 Cognitive Distortions
1. All-or-Nothing Thinking. You think about yourself or the world in black-or-white, all-or-nothing categories. Shades of gray do not exist. This is also known as “dichotomous” thinking. For example, you tell yourself, “I’m a total failure” after flunking an exam.
2. Overgeneralization. You think about a negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat or a positive event as a never-ending pattern of success. For example, you label yourself “unlovable” after a breakup.
3. Mental Filtering. You focus on something bad and filter out all the positives—or you focus on something positive and ignore all the negatives. For example, you get one low rating in a job evaluation and conclude you’re doing a lousy job.
4. Discounting the Positive/Negative. You tell yourself that certain negative or positive facts don’t count to maintain a negative or positive image of yourself or the situation. For example, someone compliments you, and you tell yourself, “They’re just saying that to be nice.” Feelings of inferiority nearly always result from mental filtering and discounting the positive.
5. Jumping to Conclusions. You jump to conclusions that aren’t warranted by the facts. There are two common versions of this distortion.
5.1. Mind Reading. You assume you know what other people are thinking and feeling. If you’re at a party, for example, and feeling nervous, you might assume people are judging you.
5.2. Fortune Telling. You make negative or positive predictions about the future. If you’re depressed, for example, you might tell yourself things will never get better.
6. Magnification and Minimization. You blow things out of proportion or shrink their importance inappropriately. This is also called the “binocular trick” because things look much bigger or much smaller depending on what end of the binoculars you look through.
7. Emotional Reasoning. You reason from how you feel. This can be very misleading because your feelings result entirely from your thoughts and not from external reality. For example, because you feel like an idiot, you reason you must be one.
8. Should Statements. You make yourself miserable with shoulds, musts, or ought tos. Self-directed shoulds cause feelings of guilt, shame, depression, and worthlessness. Other-directed shoulds trigger feelings of anger and frustration toward others. World-directed shoulds cause feelings of anger and frustration toward the world.
9. Labeling. You label yourself or others so you see your entire self (or someone else) as totally defective or superior. For example, when you make a mistake, you call yourself a “loser” instead of saying, “I made a mistake.”
10. Blame. You find fault in others or yourself instead of solving the problem or identifying the true causes of the problem. There are two common versions of this distortion.
10.1. Self-Blame. You blame yourself for something you weren’t entirely responsible for, or you beat up on yourself because of some mistake you made. A lawyer, for instance, might blame himself for losing a case when the evidence against the man he was trying to defend was overwhelming.
10.2. Other-blame. You blame others and overlook ways you might have contributed to the conflict. Other-blame nearly always goes hand in hand with should statements directed against other people or the world.
When you record your negative thoughts on paper, it makes it much easier to see what you’re telling yourself. In addition, it becomes vastly easier to identify the distortions in each negative thought.
Thank you ☺️
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