Why is it that we’re wired to react more intensely to negative events than positive ones and to remember insults more than praise? We often get ourselves into thinking traps – where our negative thoughts spiral and make things out to be worse than they truly are. These cognitive distortions can impact our coping skills, so it’s important to recognize them. Some common cognitive distortions, according to Mental Health America (MHA), include…

“Overgeneralization: Making a broad statement based on one situation or piece of evidence.

Personalization: Blaming yourself for events beyond your control; taking things personally when they aren’t actually connected to you.

Filtering: Focusing on the negative details of a situation while ignoring the positive.

All-or-Nothing Thinking: Only seeing the extremes of a situation.

Catastrophizing: Blowing things out of proportion; dwelling on the worst possible outcomes.

Jumping to Conclusions: Judging or deciding something without all the facts.

Emotional Reasoning: Thinking that however you feel is fully and unarguably true.

Discounting the Positive: Explaining all positives away as luck or coincidence.

‘Should’ Statements: Making yourself feel guilty by pointing out what you should  or shouldn’t be doing, feeling, or thinking.”

Discover a variety of other student coping methods within our How to Help Students Gain Effective Coping Skills Training Package.