Unhealthy moods often trigger inaccuracies in our thinking, which can make our thoughts damaging and inaccurate.
If we learn about the common errors in thinking, we can easily recognize when our thoughts are untrue and encourage us not to automatically believe our thoughts. So, the next time we are in a low mood, we will be able to identify which errors in thinking are present and how to tackle them effectively.
Below is a list of some of the most common errors in thinking. Familiarize yourself with them, and practice recognizing them in your thoughts.
1. Personalization and blame: Personalization involves thinking they are solely responsible for the outcome, ignoring the other factors. Blame is the exact opposite. It happens when someone holds another person fully responsible without examining his/her own impact.
2. Mental filter: Focusing solely on a single negative aspect ignoring the whole picture.
3. Labeling: It involves applying a fixed, broad label to oneself.
4. Overgeneralization: The process of applying one negative outcome and applying it to all areas of one’s life.
5. Emotional reasoning: Thinking that because a certain feeling is present, it must be true, regardless of any contrary evidence.
6. All-or-nothing thinking: Viewing things in black or white. If something is not perfect, we think of it as a complete failure.
7. Denial of change: It occurs when we deny the reality that our lives are constantly changing, and so also the lives of people around us.
8. Jumping to conclusions or inference observation confusion: This includes mind reading and fortune telling, without delving into all the facts, thereby leading to harmful unwarranted conclusions. Mind reading happens when we attribute attitudes to another person and assume that these are the case.