Automatic Negative Thoughts Examples How to handle it
You see things in black/white at a routine
I'm an art student and have a Identify distortion
If your performance falls short critique session, the majority of a positive
Substitute + thought thought
of perfect, you see yourself my classmates and professor liked Get in touch with how much they liked the 2 pieces
as a total failure. 2 of my pieces out of 4.
I go home feeling like a failure stick with reality
People are usually not moved by all pieces equally
Take the critique at face value without judgment
I'm a straight A student and
receive a B and conclude: Find truth in your shortcomings
"Now, I'm a total failure" Maybe the two pieces that people didn't respond to
missed the mark and need more work.
"I lost the election for student
so I'll never
government, so I'll nevr be able to
get into politics.
You view a negative event as a I am a science major and after Identify Distortion
never ending pattern of defeat. some real effort, my experiment failed Substitute a positive thought
You conclude that if something to produce what I hoped for. I This experiment showed me what not to do again.
happened to you once, it think "I will never get this right".
will occur over and over. Stick with reality
I ask a girl for to meet for coffee, she This is one experiment, it doesn't mean anything.
declines, I conclude
"No one will ever go out Find truth in your Shortcomings
with me" I have a lot to learn yet.
You dwell on the negatives I took a break from studying and Identify Distortion
in a situation and perceive had a good time with my friends for a Substitute a positive thought
the whole situation as n couple of hours. I go back to your Relaxation is not a luxury, I needed it
negative. work and dwell on the fact that my It was good for our relationship to spend time together
work didn't get done and now I'm I made a good decision and now I have to get down to .
My father says that he will Find truth in your Shortcomings
call but doesn't, I conclude Maybe I did take a little too much time, but now
"He doesn't love me or care I just have to get down to work.
about my life".
you make a negative interpre- I'm struggling with making ends Identify Distortion
tation about a situation meet financially and tell my friend Examine the evidence
even though there are that my parents will probably refuse My parents have always helped in the past
no definite facts that support to help. They care about me
the conclusion. I can always pay them back
I'm presenting my
paper in front of class.
A student in front row is
nodding off. and I conclude:
"I must be so boring"
"He's not interested in
You arbitrarily predict that things I want to join in with my Identify Distortion
will turn out badly and dorm residents for an Examine the evidence
take it as a fact event but decide that it There are friendly people in my
will be disappointing be dorm whom I've spoken to in the
cause no one will notice past and we seem to get along.
me Why would'nt they talk to me?
You blow things out of proportion Bf said that he wants to go out with his Identify Distortion
friends on Sat. night: a time we routinely Substitute a positive thought
spend together. I think, "He wants He needs time with his male friends
to break up with me"
Examine the evidence
He said he loves being with me
minimize the importance Friends throw me a birthday party and Identify Distortion
of the event. I say to myself, "they just feel sorry Substitute a positive thoughts
for me" They really care about me to go to all
I don't see my own positive
qualities. Examine the Evidence
Even though I'm smart and Having a party is a lot of trouble to go
a good friend, I downplay those through for someone that you don't like.
Reasoning from how you My father decided to leave my mother Identify Distortion
feel. "I feel like an idiot, after 20 years of marriage. I feel so Examine the Evidence
so I must be one. sad and guilty, I must be responsible my parents have had problems with their relationship
somehow. before I was born. I'm not the reason for their
Try to motivate yourself I turned in your application for Law Identify Distortion
& others with "shoulds, School the day before it was due and Substitute a positive thought
oughts, musts, have-tos' I say to myrself "I should have put I got my application in on time.
it in sooner"
"I should study more"
"I should relax more"
Describing an event with My mother is so "overbearing", she Identify Distortion
words that are inaccurate calls me twice a week. Substitute a positive thought
and emotionally charged: My mother cares and worries about me, I just need
an extreme form of Label myself as disgusting to give her reassurance that I'm OK.
over generalizing because I ate too much
blaming self for something boyfriend
I break up with my Girlfriend Identify Distortion
you weren't entirely respon because she's "too demanding" and Examine the evidence
sible for or blame others I don't look at my own role in Maybe I'm unavailable to him because I'm so busy and
denying your role in the the break up. I haven't communicated that to him.