Are You Using The Thought Trap Mental Filtering? If so – When?

There are many anxiety inducing patterns often called cognitive distortions or thought traps. These are ways of thinking that seem true but are in fact not reasonable, realistic or relevant to the situation.

Noticing when we are using thought traps and countering them is an important part of traditional CBT-exercises according to Aaron and Burns, that also can reduce symptoms of anxiety.

Another common thought trap is Mental filtering:
This is when a person magnifies and focuses on the negative details and at the same time filters out the positive aspects of a situation.

An example could be when having a dinner party and only focusing on an incident, like a specific dish or a conversation, that was not received so well and then insists on that the whole party was a disaster and that nobody will ever come to a party again, even if there also were pleasant parts and dishes.

In this way, the vision of reality becomes darkened or distorted.

Hence, a mental filter is an opposite to overgeneralization but it has the same negative outcome.

In what are of your life/about what themes do you have a tendency to use mental filtering?

More about typical thought traps/distortions and how to address them in upcoming posts.

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