Most irrational patterns of thought can be reversed once you’re aware of them. Still, cognitive distortions sometimes go hand in hand with mental health conditions, such as personality disorders. This makes it more challenging to reframe.

Reaching out to a mental health professional can help if you feel the process too overwhelming.

Meanwhile, try to remember that it’s not the events but your thoughts that upset you in many instances. 

You might not be able to change the events, but you can work on redirecting your thoughts.

Beginning with small changes can be helpful. Here are some tips:

Thinking about your thoughts. If an event is upsetting you, step away from it if you can and try to focus on what you’re telling yourself about the event.

Replacing absolutes. Once you focus on your thoughts and recognize a pattern, consider replacing statements such as “always” and “nothing” with “sometimes” and “this.”

Defining yourself and others. Try labeling the behavior. Instead of labeling yourself “lazy” because you didn’t clean today, consider: “I just didn’t clean today.” One action doesn’t have to define you.

Searching for positive aspects. Even if it’s challenging at first, what if you find at least three positive examples in each situation. It might not feel natural, but eventually, it may become a spontaneous habit.

Is there evidence? Before concluding, consider asking, investigating, questioning yourself and others to ensure you have as many facts as possible. If you can, make an extra effort to believe these facts.ADVERTISINGnullnull

Let’s recap

Cognitive distortions are negative filters that impact how you see yourself and others.

When our thoughts are distorted, our emotions are, too. By becoming aware and redirecting these negative thoughts, you can significantly improve your mood and quality of life.