• paul of Others

    Our unhappiness doesn’t just stem from the things around us. It often comes from our way of thinking. Believe it or not, our state of happiness is quite dependent on our mental strength. A person is said to be mentally strong if they can withstand or avoid cognitive distortions or thinking errors.

    So, in order to be happy, you will need to be aware of these cognitive distortions that threaten your mental strength. Luckily for you, we have compiled the three most common cognitive distortions for you to be aware of.

    All-or-Nothing is a cognitive distortion where you see the whole world as something that is divided into two categories. In this thinking, you see yourself as either achieving all your goals and become successful or become a failure. And, to be honest, this is quite an unrealistic and illogical way of seeing things.

    Your whole life is not decided by one failure. If you did badly in one exam, it doesn’t mean that you’re never going to get good grades. It is just one facet, one shade in your journey. Instead of wallowing in your failed exam, focus on studying so you’ll do good in the next one.

    Mind Reading
    As the name implies, Mind Reading is a cognitive distortion where you assume what someone else is thinking. For example, when you recite the wrong answer in class, you might assume that your professor thinks you’re dumb.

    Mind Reading is quite an easy and dangerous cognitive distortion to fall into. If we always assume what other people are thinking, and believe those as truths, it can quickly become a self-fulling prophecy. Because we think that other people don’t like us, we might develop a tendency to shove others away.

    When you fall into this cognitive distortion, you need to remember that it is impossible to guess other people’s thoughts. Going back to the previous example, your professor might have appreciated your participation in class instead of thinking that you’re dumb.

    Emotional Reasoning 
    Emotional Reasoning is a cognitive distortion in which we assume that our feelings are rational. For example, when you feel worried about a career change, you’ll automatically assume that a career change is a bad idea.

    Similar to Mind Reading, Emotional Reasoning can induce a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you feel like a loser and believe to be one, you might fail to take opportunities and enjoy life. This will add to your negative feelings and the cycle will repeat itself.

    To avoid this cognitive distortion, you need to realize that emotions offer no validity. Going back to the previous example, expressing worry about your career change does not mean it’s not a good idea. It just means that this career change is important enough to warrant your worry.

    Whenever you’re falling into emotional reasoning, ask yourself: “What thought did I just have?” or “Why did I think of this?” Then, offer counterarguments for these thoughts and support them with founded facts.  



    Contributed by: Allison Julianne Macasaet, a freelance writer on the side, a student of international relations on the other. Interests include fantasy books, international relations, and lifestyle.

  • mikay05 of NCBA Cubao

    This info is very timely. Although I try to cheer myself up whenever I don't reach my daily goals, I'm still thinking that I am a failure. Thanks to this post I now have the knowledge how to counteract those negative thoughts and feelings.