Thinking errors that impact on negative mood

July 10, 2014

The Cognitive Model of depression states that it is not necessarily the situation that affects the way we feel and behave but our thoughts about it. Challenging our thoughts about a situation so that they are both rational and healthy has been found to significantly improve mood and better manage depressive symptoms.

Below is a list of the thinking errors that individuals tend to make when evaluating a situation. Read through the list and identify 2-3 thinking errors that you tend to make the most. Next time you are feeling depressed, anxious or angry, identify your thoughts about the situation and the types of thinking errors that you have made.

Awareness is the first step towards change!
Mental Filtering: Focusing on the negatives and filtering out the positive
Catastrophising: Over-exaggerating in a situation
Black and White Thinking: People who are black and white (all or nothing) in their thinking might see a situation as being either good or bad, positive or negative.
Can’t Standitis: Inability to tolerate situations that are either undesireable or unpleasant.
Personalising: Blaming yourself for a negative situation
Mind Reading: Thinking that you know what people are thinking
Labelling: Calling yourself negative and unhelpful names instead of focusing on the facts of the situation.
Unfair Comparisons: Comparing your own situation to someone elses that has some kind of advantage or better situation than you do.
Overgeneralising: Drawing an overall negative conclusion based on one specific situation. An overgeneraliser will often make comments in terms such as “always”, “never” when really only referring to one specific piece of evidence about one isolated situation.
Emotional Reasoning: Emotional reasoning refers to the tendency to believe that if one feels a certain way it must be true.