Cognitive Distortions Affecting Stress

Stress can affect life in general. A little stress can sometimes be helpful in that it keeps a person on his toes. But this is stress that one can cope up with. The problem can lie on experiencing too much stress. That is why stress management is so important in today’s stress-filled life.

Ways that people try to cope up with stress

One of them is through changing a person’s way of thinking. There is a form of stress therapy called cognitive restructuring which deals with identifying and changing a person’s faulty thinking and unrealistic beliefs. It mainly deals with recognizing cognitive distortions and correcting them in order to change one’s way of thinking.

Different cognitive distortions that can be related to stress

These are faulty thinking that leads people to behave or act in a negative manner. And there are several cognitive distortions that are common in many people.

All-or-nothing thinking

People who think "all or nothing" are those who never seem to find a middle ground in everything they do. It is either all, or nothing. People who have this type of cognitive distortion are fond of using the words "always" and "never".

Statements such as "I always make mistakes." and "People will never believe me." are just some of the statements commonly associated with all-or-nothing thinkers. People with this kind of cognitive distortion usually try to magnify situations and circumstances, making them bigger than what they are in reality.


There are some people who, when experiencing a certain situation, tend to believe that all similar situations in the future would result in the exact same way.

People tend to overgeneralize by thinking that there are no differences in similar situations that happen in the present and in the future. When one faces a violent policeman, an overgeneralizer would believe that all policemen are violent and that being with them will always be stressful.

Always jump into conclusions

There are people who, when faced with a certain situation tend to jump into making judgments and conclusions usually before any evidence has been taken to back it up. For every situation, people with this cognitive distortion try to go straight into conclusions even to the point of ignoring signs that prove the contrary.