Our brains are constantly processing. We are continuosly analyzing, judging, predicting and computing information taken in by our senses. When information is processed factually and neutrally, our emotions stay relatively stable. However, when negative styles of thinking occur, an increase in depressed and anxious feelings result. Such emotions will increase self-defeating patterns of behaviors.
Some of the most common thought distortions that cause anxiety or depression are; catastrophizing, futurizing, mindreading, personalizing and magnification .
For example, thoughts that predict failure cause anxiety. Anxiety causes behaviors that can sabotage preferred outcomes in a variety of situations. For instance, if prior to walking into a job interview you thought, ” I am sure my resume is awful and I have no chance at being hired”, you would probably be nervous and not perform well in the interview.
Common psychological issues that cause distorted thinking are low self esteem, past or present trauma, depression and excessive stress. When ones thinking is influenced by these conditions, perceptions lean in a negative direction. Resolving these psychological issues makes it possible to maintain optimistic attitudes, accurate observations, and self-confidence.