Thinking traps are also known as cognitive distortions. They are negatively biased beliefs that are often inaccurate, irrational, or exaggerated and therefore ‘distort’ our perception of the world. Unaddressed, thinking traps can leave us ‘stuck’ by perpetuating feelings of anxiety, anger, stress, and depression.
Some common thinking traps are shown below.
Catastrophizing: If something goes wrong, it'll be a disaster.
Emotional Reasoning: Mistaking your feelings for actual facts.
Mind Reading: Believing you know the thoughts and motives of others.
Fortune Telling: Predicting future events as if they were certain.
Pressurized / Extreme Words: Using words like always, never, can't, should, etc.
Labeling & Judging: Labeling yourself or others without information.
Personalization & Blame: Taking full responsibility or placing 100% blame for events outside the control of one person.
Negative Filtering: Seeing only the negative and discounting the positive.
Overgeneralization: It happened once, so it'll always happen.