Cognitive Distortions

Fariha Gillani
3 min readApr 24, 2022

Disruptive patterns of Thinking….


In this blog I will discuss the errors in thinking which is known as cognitive distortions. As a human being we all can experience these but they can be problematic when there is persistence and continuity them. These pattern of thoughts leads to stressful and disturb life. In easy words we can define them as :

Distortion in thoughts

“ our mind play trick on us and influence our thoughts, emotions, and actions. These faulty thoughts are known as Cognitive distortions.”

Types of Cognitive Distortions

Following are the some types errors in thinking:

1. All or Nothing Thinking

In this pattern level of thinking is at two extremes like either you are at the top of sky and successful or total failure. It is also known as black and white. Individuals do not focus on the reason behind their action.

For Example:

Alina fails in a test. She instead of thinking that where is my mistake she started thinking that I could not perform well in any condition. I am biggest failure.

2. Overgeneralization

That means you over rule one bad event to the whole life. In this situation you use always and mostly words frequently. you assume that all future events will have the same outcome.

For Example:

A student may receive a C on one test and conclude that she is stupid and a failure.

3. Mental Filter

This just similar to the overgeneralization this type of distortion focuses on the negative side of event and excluding all the positive ones.

For Example:

At a party if someone said that you are not looking pretty than on the behalf of this comment you will exclude all other positive points of party. You consider as it make your life worst.

4. Labeling and Mislabeling

In which we assign judgments of value to ourselves or to others based on one instance or experience.

For Example:

A girl who labels herself as “an utter fool” for failing an assignment is engaging in this distortion, as is the waiter who labels a customer “a grumpy old miser” if he fails to thank the waiter for bringing his food.

5. “Should” statements

It involve always thinking about things that you think you “should” or “must” do. These types of statements can make you feel worried or anxious.

For Example:

Hoorain thinks that she should be able to play a song on her violin without making any mistakes. When she does make mistakes, she feels angry and upset with herself. As a result, she starts to avoid practicing her violin.

Faces of cognitive distortions