How Understanding Cognitive Distortions Can Help Cure Depression

Notice and reverse distorted thinking to break through the rules that are impeding your happiness

Julia Odom
Jun 10 · 11 min read
Photo by sweetlouise via Pixabay.

Understanding the Types of Cognitive Distortions

Black-or-white thinking

Overgeneralization

Negative filter

Discrediting the positive

Jumping to conclusions—mind reading

Jumping to conclusions — fortune telling

The binocular effect

The “I feel, therefore it must be true” distortion

“Should” statements

Labeling — name-calling

Making it personal


How to Recognize Your Own Cognitive Distortions

Pay attention to what distortions stood out to you on the list

Write down the ones you feel like you might have

Write some examples of you using the distortion underneath them

Consider why you have this distortion

Talk to someone about the distortions you have

Write down some alternatives


Identifying Negative Rules And Assumptions

The 4 steps exercise to challenge rules and assumptions


Fact or Opinion Exercise

Examples of negative facts and opinions


3 Step to Challenging Negative Opinions in Real Time

1. Counter the thought immediately

2. Challenge the opinions disguised as facts

3. Counter these thoughts with actual facts


Being Free of Distortions, Rules, and Opinions

Better Humans

Better Humans is a collection of the world's most trustworthy writing on human potential and self improvement by coaches, academics, and aggressive self-experimenters. Articles are based on deep personal experience, science, and research. No fluff, book reports, or listicles.

Julia Odom

Written by

Reality TV News Editor for ScreenRant.com, lyricist and singer for band Carface, and lover of travel, film, and spicy food.

Better Humans

Better Humans is a collection of the world's most trustworthy writing on human potential and self improvement by coaches, academics, and aggressive self-experimenters. Articles are based on deep personal experience, science, and research. No fluff, book reports, or listicles.