What Are Cognitive Distortions? | Assertiveness Basics


Cognitive Distortions are Thinking Errors, irrational thoughts that paint an altered, deceiving image of ourselves, and the world.

They are automatic thoughts, triggered by contexts that are similar to those in which we have initially learned them.

Available data hints at the fact that cognitive distortions are likely created and reinforced by stressful life events that we’ve experienced when we were very young.

Smart people experience them as well. Cognitive distortions are not a reflection of a person’s intelligence level.

Cognitive Distortions impact our lives in a negative way, contributing to feelings of anxiety and depression. This is why psychologist Aaron T. Beck made them central to his cognitive-behavioral approach to psychotherapy.

The good news is that Cognitive Distortions can be managed effectively. Proper management will diminish their impact on our lives.

The key is to start identifying them in our own thinking.

Once we limit the distortions, we will start to experience better relationships, increased self-esteem, confidence, and authenticity.