Health

Dealing with cognitive distortions

Our subjectivities are how we understand reality; we perceive things as per our thinking. And when our thinking goes wrong, so does our concept of reality. This is known as cognitive distortions.

Manifesting in different ways and forms, this cognition issue results is overtly negative thinking. It leads to the abundance of pessimism.

Not only does negative thinking then ruin your experience of the present, coloring it with harsh negative strokes, but it also then jeopardizes mental health.

One of the consequences of cognitive distortions is depression, that then requires treatment from the Best Psychologist in Karachi.

Therefore, it is vital to understand and remedy the different types of cognitive distortions.

All-or-nothing

Also known as black or white thinking, this type of distortion entails putting things into binaries; either you have it all and are perfect, or you are a loser. There is no grey with this kind of mindset. Since human experiences cannot be neatly sorted this way, all-or-nothing approach then poses many problems.

One way to counter this is by changing your vocabulary; our thoughts have a language, and that is what you need to target. Do not use absolute terms like never, always etc.

Emotional reasoning

This kind of reasoning involves thinking emotionally; and since emotions can be messy, your thought process follows suite. It then becomes harder for people to function, as they become overwhelmed, are enveloped by negativity and become overtaken by the negative emotions.

To do this, stop thinking about things in how they make you feel, but how they actually are. Since commonly enough, the impact of emotional reasoning leads to becoming overwhelmed, what you can do is try to break down the situation.

The syllabus is simply too much? Start one chapter at a time, you do not have to think about the rest. The project is too complicated? Pick a facet, solve it, and then move forwards.

Jumping to conclusions

The adage haste makes waste holds true when we jump to conclusions as well, especially when we fail to account for reality. This sort of mindset then makes people think of the worst-case scenario always, even if there is not enough evidence to substantiate their thoughts.

People with this distortion are in the habit of low expectations when it comes to others. One way to counter this is by being patient and giving others the benefit of the doubt.

Minimizing the positive, maximizing the negative

Completely disqualifying the positive is also a type of distortion. People with this thinking can conjure negative thoughts in any situation, that then take precedence over the positive aspect of things. Glass is always half empty for them.

They downplay their wins and fixate over their failures. In such cases, it is important to practice being kind to yourself. Try to be objective about yourself then.

Overgeneralization

When we overgeneralize, we tend to paint everything with the same brushstroke, not recognizing if the thought fits. So, you take a negative thought, and attribute it to everything. You didn’t get invited to a party, well you are a hermit, and everyone hates you. Such spiral of negativity often does not hold and is all in the head.

If you see yourself going down this pathway, stop yourself. Set an antithesis to the thing; you have been invited to other parties; hence, you are not a hermit, nor does everyone hate you.

Labeling and mislabeling

This mindset entails labeling yourself, and then like a self-fulfilling prophesy, setting yourself up for disaster. In the moments that they falter, people give themselves harmful labels like failure, loser, hopeless etc. and then enact on these misplaced labels.

Counter this by having perspective, consciously thinking about how well you have survived thus far and avoiding the labels altogether.

If you are still having hard time with cognitive distortion, you should seek help from your Psychologist in Islamabad.

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