CHECKLIST OF COGNITIVE DISTORTIONS


  1. All-or-nothing thinking: You restrict possibilities and options to only two choices: yes or no (all or nothing).
  2. Over generalization: You view a single, negative event as a continuing and never-ending pattern of defeat.
  3. Negative Mental filter: You dwell mostly on the negatives and generally ignore the positives.
  4. Discounting the positives: You insist your achievements or positive efforts do not count.
  5. Jumping to conclusions:
    1. Mind-reading: You assume that people are reacting negatively to you without any objective evidence.
    2. Fortune-Telling: You predict that things will turn out badly without any objective evidence.
  6. Magnification or minimization: You blow things way out of proportion or minimize their importance.
  7. Emotional reasoning: You base your reasoning from your feelings: "I feel like a loser, so I must be one."
  8. "Mustabatory thinking" or "Shoulding All Over Yourself": You criticize yourself or other people with "musts," "shoulds," "oughts," and "have tos."
  9. Labeling: Instead of saying "I made a mistake," you tell yourself "I'm an idiot" or "I'm a loser."
  10. Personalization: You blame yourself almost completely for something for which you were not entirely responsible.


Adapted from Feeling Good by David D. Burns, MD.