Cognitive distortions are like sneaky illusions that influence how we see the world. They are patterns in our thinking that can make situations seem more negative than they really are, leading to stress and misunderstandings. Think of them as small glitches that colour our experiences, altering our perception of reality.

These distortions often stem from early experiences, societal influences, or coping mechanisms developed over time. They act as shortcuts in our thinking, shaping the way we interpret and respond to the world. Understanding their origins allows us to approach them with empathy and curiosity, creating a more forgiving view of ourselves and others.

Recognizing cognitive distortions involves being mindful of our thought patterns. They can manifest in various forms, such as all-or-nothing thinking, overgeneralization, or mind reading. By paying attention to our thoughts and questioning their validity, we can identify these distortions and understand when our minds are playing tricks on us.

Identifying cognitive distortions acts as a catalyst for increased self-awareness. It empowers us to comprehend our emotional responses, make informed decisions, and navigate challenges more effectively. By recognizing when our minds are playing tricks on us, we unlock the potential for greater emotional resilience, improved communication, and more authentic connections with those around us. It’s like gaining a secret weapon for a clearer, happier mindset.

Click on the brain icons below to watch a youtube short explaining the respective distortion.

All or None thinking

All-or-none thinking is when someone sees things as only "good" or "bad," without considering anything in between.


Catastrophizing is when someone imagines the worst possible outcomes of situations, making them seem much worse than they really are.

Disqualifying Positive

Disqualifying or discounting the positive is when someone ignores or brushes off positive aspects of a situation, leading to a biased focus on the negative.

Emotional Reasoning

Emotional reasoning is when someone believes their feelings are facts, guiding their decisions regardless of evidence or logic.


Labelling is when someone gives harsh, negative labels to themselves or others based on specific actions or traits, overlooking the bigger picture.

Mental Filter

A Mental Filter distorts perception by focusing on select aspects and ignoring others, leading to an unbalanced view of reality.


Magnification/minimization is when someone either blows problems out of proportion or shrinks successes, distorting their view of reality.

Mind Reading

Mind reading is a cognitive distortion where someone assumes they know what others are thinking or feeling without any evidence, often leading to misunderstandings and conflict.

Must/Should Statements

Must/should statements are when someone imposes strict expectations on themselves or others, causing feelings of guilt or frustration if these expectations aren't met.


Overgeneralization is when someone jumps to broad conclusions about themselves or others based on limited experiences, blowing things out of proportion.


Personalization is when someone blames themselves for things that aren't their fault, assuming responsibility even when there's no evidence to support it.

Tunnel Vision

Tunnel vision is a cognitive distortion where someone focuses solely on one aspect of a situation while ignoring everything else, leading to a narrow and limited perspective.