Thinking Errors

Thinking errors are often called “cognitive distortions” or “stinkin’ thinkin”. They are inaccurate thoughts or ideas– errors in thinking and reasoning.

These distorted thoughts create and maintain negative emotions. They also reinforce negative beliefs about ourselves, the world, and the future.

The thinking errors seem to happen automatically. When we don’t recognize and challenge the thoughts, we tend to believe they are “true”. And our behaviors then reflect these negative thoughts and emotions. And then, “surprise!”our negative behaviors create negative situations. And then “surprise again!” these negative situations reinforce the errors in thinking!

negative thoughts in a circle

It’s a vicious cycle.  

Cognitive distortions happen to everyone.
But when we are stressed, we are more likely to have them, and they tend to be more severe.

And cognitive distortions influence how we experience events in our lives; they can cause us to experience events as more stressful.

Taking Action
We can become aware of when we create these distortions. When we become aware, we can take action and challenge the distortions. And when we challenge them, they lose their power over us. And then we can feel better and less stressed about events in our lives.