I just know she doesn’t like me.
Thoughts like these were pretty commonplace for me when I was younger, and sometimes, they still occur.
This is just one of many types of cognitive distortions – mind-reading.
And then I’ll go embarrass myself by reading into the person’s actions just based off that one thought.
I’d actually treat that one thought as if it were fact and then see whatever else that happened after through that lens.
It was interesting how I came to have distorted perspectives – and that’s what cognitive distortions are in a nutshell – of people and situations. But cognitive distortions are usually beliefs or perspectives that we have in reaction to adverse or traumatic situations that we faced in the past.
And they’ve continued to persist through our reinforcements, our thought patterns, and can be very difficult to break out of.
The thing about cognitive distortions is it can be rather stealthy and creep into your mind without you being aware of its presence, and remain firmly wedged in place.
They can be pretty difficult to “get rid of” because your mind tends to think that, that’s the right way of thinking or perceiving a situation.
It took me quite awhile to realise that much of the negativity weighing down on me and my outlook on life was due to the distorted beliefs I carried around with me.
It took many years of undoing, analysing, accepting what has been done and letting go of many demons for me to be at peace with where I was.
It is still very much a work in progress but knowing what the different types of distortions really helped in identifying them and breaking the cycle.
Interested in breaking your own pattern of negative thinking? Get to know the 13 most common types of cognitive distortions in this episode of the podcast.
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