Am I Tripping?!

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Since it’s mental health awareness month there’s been a lot of conversation around mental health, which is bomb because it’s definitely needed. With me being your very own mental health plug, I want to put you on some more game on something that’s not discussed often when it comes to mental health.

Cognitive Distortions! What’s that you ask? Lets break it down. Cognitive is a fancy term for thinking, your thoughts, etc right? Distortion is the action of giving a misleading account or impression. Put those two words together it basically means ways your brain lies to you. I know our brain is like the mitochondria of the human body but it does trip sometimes, especially when you have a mental diagnosis such as anxiety or depression.

In short, Cognitive distortions are basically when you have to ask your friend; “Tell me if I’m tripping…” and this thinking can also highly contribute to negative emotions.

There are many different types of cognitive distortions so lets go over them real quick…

1.     All or Nothing Thinking: This thinking is when you see things in black and white. If you fall short of something then it’s an automatic failure to you.
Example: “I got a B instead of an A on my paper so I’m a total failure at life”

2.     Over-generalization: This thinking is when you see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern.  If you over-generalize you may find yourself using the words “always” or “never” a lot.
Example: “This always happens to me in relationships, I will never find the right one for me”.

3.     Mental Filter: You pick out one negative thing and dwell on it. Also meaning you suck at taking constructive criticism.
Example: “Everyone said I did so well but this one person told me I could’ve done better at this. I did horrible.”

4.     Discounting the Positive: When you reject positive experiences. This can also be rooted in imposter syndrome.
Example: Someone gives you a compliment on something you did well & you respond that anyone could’ve done it, discounting your work.

5.     Jumping to Conclusions/Mind-Reading: I know most of my ladies can relate to this lol. This thinking is when you interpret something as negative when you have no proof or evidence.
Example: “Oh he didn’t respond to me so he must hates me”

6.     Fortune Telling: When you anticipate things will turn out badly.
Example: “I already know once I make it there someone is going to piss me off”

7.     Magnification: You exaggerate the importance of your problems while minimizing your desirable qualities.
Example: “If this didn’t happen I would be in a totally different place” while ignoring that you’re still in a good position.

8.     Emotional Reasoning: Assuming that your negative emotions reflect reality.
Example: “Well I feel this way so it must be true”

9.     “Should” Statements: When you tell yourself things should be the way you hoped them to be.
Example:“I should be here by now” “He should’ve known better”

10. Judging: Instead of saying it was a mistake you call yourself a “dummy” or say something else that is emotionally loaded.
Example: “I’m a dumb ass for doing xyz” “I’m a horrible mother”

So as you can see there are MANY ways we lie to ourselves and even self-sabotage. Have you ever experienced any of these cognitive distortions?  This is a safe space, share your thoughts & experiences in the comments!


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