When we believe that our emotions are a reality, we are victim to emotional reasoning. We disregard all evidence contrary to the thought/emotion we have as a result of this cognitive distortion.
- I feel that I am worthless; therefore, I must be worthless.
- I feel lonely; therefore, no one cares about me, and I am unlovable.
- I feel overwhelmed; therefore, I can’t handle stressful situations.
Thoughts are powerful and often dictate our behavior. If I believe I can’t handle stressful situations, I’m more likely to give up or procrastinate when I feel overwhelmed.
We work through emotional reasoning by asking ourselves:
- What evidence supports this thought/feeling?
- What evidence does not support this thought/feeling?
- Am I allowing my emotions to cloud my judgment?
- How can I reframe this negative thought about a feeling I am having?
Changing our thought patterns can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. The first step to doing so is to be aware when we’re experiencing cognitive distortions. Then, we can challenge and eventually change them! To learn more about cognitive distortions and how to change your thoughts, connect with us!