Negative Thoughts Trigger Negative Feelings

We used to believe that it was depression or anxiety that made people think negatively, but psychologists and psychiatrists have discovered that most people struggle with anxious or depressed first had negative, pessimistic, distorted thoughts that produced those feelings.

Learning how to recognize these distorted thoughts can be helpful in growth in change in one’s overall mental health and functioning.

We all have cognitive distortions from time-to-time, and it is important to recognize when we are having these distortions and realize that “hey, I’m doing that thing again, and maybe I need to change that thought pattern!” Understanding ourselves better is the key to growth in therapy.

Several cognitive distortions are as follows:


Thinking in black and white – no grey areas to consider.

Mind reading – thinking someone is thinking a certain thing when they probably are not.

Catastrophizing – thinking the worst outcome is going to happen.

Exaggerating – making self-critical or critical statements like never, nothing, everything or always.

Filtering– ignoring the positive things that occur and focusing on and accentuating the negative.

Discounting – rejecting positive experiences as not being important of meaningful.

Judging – being critical of self and others with an emphasis on “should have, “”ought to”, “must” and “should not.”

Feelings are facts – because you feel a certain way, reality is as fitting that feeling.

Labeling– Calling self or others a bad name when displeased with a behavior.

Self-blaming – Holding oneself responsible for outcome that wasn’t completely under one’s control or fault.


A good tool for when you are having one of these cognitive distortions is to pause and reflect for a few minutes and ask yourself, “is that really a true or am I having a cognitive distortion?” Second, to reframe that thought with a positive one.

You can have a life of abundance, peace, and joy! I am here to help you on this journey. I believe 90% of what happens in life is not what happens to us but how we react to situations. You deserve a life that leaves you excited to wake up every morning. I am here to help you find fulfillment and personal growth.

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