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Cognitive Distortions

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By Arnab Datta, MD
Published on Feb 17, 2023

Cognitive distortions are also known as “thinking errors.” If we could overcome our cognitive distortions, it would be a great accomplishment towards improving our mental health.

We can sometimes minimize some of our positive qualities and elevate some of our negative qualities; which can make us feel bad about ourselves. Sometimes it’s easy to discount the positive and all the good things we’ve accomplished. Sometimes it’s easy to make a mountain out of a molehill; make the problem bigger than it is (Magnification).

It helps to talk to a friend, family member, mentor or an objective therapist to notice the difference. Please don’t think you’re any less because you didn’t recognize a cognitive distortion. Sometimes therapists fail to see it themselves.

We all need someone to talk to, someone we can open up to and share with the thoughts that are bearing down on us. Even if that person is not the most objective person, we can benefit from venting our frustrations to someone. We must be aware not to overwhelm that non-clinical person as well. We are very lucky to have a helpful listener like this in our life.

Overcoming cognitive distortions is not only taught to mental health professionals in the modern times but also taught in different schools of meditation and spirituality. Cognitive distortions are thinking errors that have been a part of human nature since the creation of the mind. It’s a negative way of thinking that psychotherapy aims to remedy.

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