Cognitive Distortions Handout


Hi all,
I just wanted to mention that after reading this handout I almost laughed at how true this is for me!! I always used to read people’s minds and make assumptions on what they’re thinking. I also also magnify the situation and I make it worse than what it really i… This was a very interesting handout to read…
I do have a question though that I’ve been forgetting to ask here: What are some examples of using behavioral therapy?
I always do my 30 min study time everyday so I know that that involves reinforicng the cognitive therapy. But I just wasn’t sure if I’m doing enough behavioral therapy because I know that overlearning the strategies is very important.
One of my biggest Ants that gets kind of annoying is my fear that in future situations, I will blush or look anxious around certain people that I’ve blushed or have felt anxious around in the past. Like sometimes I will not wear clothing that exposes my neck or chest so that people will not notice my neck getting red. (Probably another Ant) I am trying to stop these Ants but they keep coming back in my mind… And it’s only certain people that triggers my anxiety… So I’ve been trying to turn the tables on these thoughts but I guess I need more practice to make this belief stronger.
Sometimes I have been noticing that I tend to observe other people and I can tell if they’re feeling anxious by the way they look and then I say to myself “oh I hope I don’t look like that when I’m anxious” Again another Ant. But I’ve been trying to just laugh it off and not take it so seriously.
Any feedback on all this would be great!! :smile:


I can relate to this handout. I used to think I was very perceptive, reading people and then getting anxious about what I thought they were thinking.
I used to get a bit confused about cognitive and behavioural therapy. I was spending hours a day overlearning the therapy but not practicing it. Avoiding social situations and public places, thinking I will do it tomorrow or the day after. Feeling nervous when shopping, thinking people were staring at me on the train, avoiding meetings at work (nervous of certain people). Scared I would start sweating or shake and then people would judge me.
I just managed to calm myself down, relax, think rational thoughts, use slow talk and when I felt like leaving the room, take a deep breath and relax. Then tell myself it wasn’t so bad, people are thinking about themselves and I did a good job. This takes a while but your brain gradually sees the truth. Now I can walk into a meeting, answer questions calmly and my body feels relaxed.
My rational thoughts now tell me:
It is no big deal, so what.
Who cares what anyone thinks about me.
As soon as I start to tense, my body automatically relaxes.
All the best,


Thank you Mitch! Thank you for the feedback! If you don’t mind me asking, have you finished the series? How far along are you in the series?


I also feel I do the same as you! I spend a lot of time learning and reviewing all the old handouts but when I’m in the anxiety provoking event, I just don’t remember to use the strategies. I need to work on practicing what I’ve been learning in my daily life. I’m trying to be more patient and take the pressure off myself. Some days, I feel amazing and some days I feel that irrational anxiety cloud looming over me and making me feel tense… I’ve been noticing that If someone is silent around me that I usually have a fun time with, I automatically make myself anxious and think I did something wrong. I have been blowing things out of proportion and I’m realizing that what I think is so important, really is not.


I finished the sessions about 4 months ago.
I suppose from the start I assumed this would be the end point/cure. But I keep reinforcing the therapy. And it is getting stronger.
I also used to have positive and negative days.
Sometimes loving life, others feeling things just weren’t worth the effort, when I felt anxious and down.
But I kept practicing. Even when I thought there was no point.
Then gradually the bad times and fear turned to neutral, then positive.
My self esteem rose, I stopped putting other peoples feelings above my own. Yes, I worried that I was turning into a bully :). Negative thoughts.
I used to feel like an electric current was running through my body. Now my daily relaxation exercises have become my normal state, even during tense moments.
Just keep on moving forward :),