Table of contents:

5 common cognitive biases that prevent us from living
5 common cognitive biases that prevent us from living

Happiness depends on how we think. Mistakes in thinking make us see life in a negative way, but they can be recognized and avoided.

5 common cognitive biases that prevent us from living
5 common cognitive biases that prevent us from living

What is cognitive distortion

Cognitive bias is the mind's way of convincing us of something that is not entirely true. That is, it is not a lie, but a half-truth.

Such imprecise thoughts reinforce negative thinking and emotions. We seem to say rational things to ourselves, but really their only purpose is to keep us feeling unwell.

Below are five of the most common thinking mistakes. After learning about each of them, ask yourself two questions:

  • Have you noticed this kind of cognitive bias?
  • And if so, when?

Common cognitive biases

1. Filtration

The essence of this mistake is that only the negative aspects of the situation are taken into account. The positive ones are simply not taken into account. In this situation, a person can get hung up on one negative moment, which is why his whole life is painted in dull colors.

2. Black and white thinking

Polarized or black-and-white thinking is that a person thinks in extremes. He is either perfect or a complete failure. There is no third.

If he does not perform the task perfectly, then he perceives it as a complete failure. A similar cognitive error is activated in sports and in business.

3. Overgeneralization

With this cognitive bias, the person comes to a general conclusion based on just one incident or one piece of evidence. If something bad happens once, he expects it to happen again. One unpleasant incident is perceived as part of an endless chain of failures.

This type of thinking is often included in romantic relationships. For example, when, after one failed date, a person decides that he will be forever alone.

4. Hasty conclusions

This thinking error is that a person immediately jumps to conclusions without collecting enough evidence.

So, he can “understand” the attitude of another to himself in advance, without bothering to ask this other about his own opinion. A similar situation often arises in interpersonal relationships and in friendships.

The same goes for work and new projects. A person can convince himself of the failure of a new venture, even without starting it.

5. Catastrophization

This cognitive bias makes a person feel like a catastrophe is coming for no reason. He constantly asks himself “what if” questions. What if tragedy happens? What if this happens to me? What if I starve? What if I die?

When life is formed from such obsessive expectations, happiness is out of the question.

This error is also associated with a distorted perception of the scale of events. In this case, a minor negative incident, for example, one's own mistake, is seen as a global tragedy. And the magnitude of positive important events is only understated.

If you experience any of these cognitive biases, ask yourself three questions:

  • What's wrong with this thinking pattern in your life?
  • How does your behavior become because of it?
  • What role does all this play in your everyday life?

Perhaps the awareness of the harm of thinking habits will be the impetus to say goodbye to them.