We all experience some problems in our lives and we try to overcome these problems. However, sometimes it can be difficult to solve some problems. We can say that we tend to think negatively, especially in depressive and anxious periods. So how does this happen? In this article, it has been put forward with the CBT theory and is the biggest obstacle in solving our problems. negative automatic thoughts and cognitive distortionswe will consider.
Automatic thoughts occur unconsciously in the events we experience. Our fixed beliefs, which become active as a result of various events, trigger automatic thoughts. Then, our automatic thoughts, which are due to cognitive distortions, emerge. If we explain with an example; Imagine that you got a low score from a trial exam you took for the KPSS exam you were prepared for. As a result of this event, your basic belief of “I fail” will be active. In line with this belief, your automatic thoughts will emerge depending on cognitive distortions, such as I cannot win the KPSS, and I did not want what I wanted in LYS anyway. Now let’s take a closer look at what kinds of cognitive distortions exist.
one- All or nothing thinking
In this mindset, life is lived at two extremes, such as black and white. Shades of gray are not included. For example; “I can’t be a happy person if he doesn’t love me”. If I can’t be a really good psychologist, I shouldn’t start this business at all.” Thoughts in the form of all-or-nothing thoughts are included.
The future is viewed with the expectation of a disaster. Even if this bad outcome is very unlikely, it goes unnoticed. If troubles or problems are not resolved, the end of the world will be approached. For example; “If I break up with my girlfriend, it will be the end of me.”, “I can’t do it if I quit this job.”, Everything will be messed up if I can’t complete the presentation.” Thoughts in the form fall into these thoughts.
3- Don’t ignore the positive
It is not considered important that good things have happened. Success is attributed to luck or other reasons. For example; “Exams are good because the teacher asks easily.”, It’s a sign of their kindness when people say they love me.” Such thoughts may involve ignoring positive things.
4- Emotional Reasoning
It is reasoning under the existing emotional state instead of the truth in the interpretations of the event. “Our relationship is so bad because I feel bad.”, Things are going well, but I am not feeling well.” Thoughts in the form of thoughts can be given as an example of the effect of mood on reasoning made about events.
It is a person’s making evaluations about himself or others that reach a general conclusion. Evaluations such as “He paid me his debt late, he is very stingy.”, He needed help and I did not help, I am a very cruel person, etc.
6- Enlarge – Reduction
In the events experienced, negative information is focused more and while positive information is magnified, it is minimized and ignored. For example; my best friend has been meeting with others for 3 days and doesn’t call me, he doesn’t want me anymore. In the form of thought, a negative situation experienced in the last 3 days is magnified, and the positive memories that he has lived with his best friend for maybe years are ignored.
7- Selective Abstraction
Focusing on a single negative aspect of the information about the situation experienced, all other factors are ignored. For example, your manager treats you harshly at your workplace. In this case, it is selective abstraction that you think that he is angry with you and that you have failed. The way your manager treats other employees is beyond attention.
8- mind reading
It is reading what goes through the minds of the people in front of us and believing that it is true and shaping our behavior accordingly. For example, “I pissed off my boss, he thinks I’m a simple person, I need to do my best to fix it.” To think in a way is to read the mind of the other person and act accordingly.
It is the tendency to draw a negative conclusion, usually based on a single event experienced. The person who overgeneralizes often easily uses words like never, always, nobody. For example, we are overgeneralizing if we believe that punctuation errors made when we do an assignment are a terrible mistake that will cause us to get zeroes from the homework. Or if we have the thought that I will screw up everything I get my hands on, I can’t do anything right, as it turns out, we are overgeneralizing.
The fact that we take the situation on ourselves without considering alternative explanations means that we make personalization. In the example of the previous tough manager, believing that if the manager sets a new rule for us, it shows that we are personalizing the situation.
It is the belief that life has certain rules and that if these rules are not followed, disasters can result. For example; “I have to do very well, if I can’t, it means I’m a failure.” Ideas containing this and similar goods cause anger against those works after a while. If our behavior falls below ought-good standards, it causes us to experience shame and guilt.
As seen above, there are thought patterns that affect our coping mechanism and occur outside of our consciousness. Trying to be aware of these thought patterns will play an important role in solving the problems experienced. However, it should be noted that capturing these thoughts is a very difficult process and can take a long time.