Irrational Thinking: How to Know if You’re Thinking Illogically?

Irrational Thinking: How to Know if You're Thinking Illogically?

Do you ever have thoughts that just do not make sense? If so, this article is for you! Here we will discuss how to identify when you are irrational thinking and learn more about common misconceptions. Do you ever feel like your thoughts are irrational? Perhaps you find yourself thinking, “I’m not good enough,” or “It will never work out.” This is known as a cognitive distortion. This blog post includes a list of examples of irrational thoughts as well as ways to refute them.

What Are Irrational Thoughts?Irrational Thinking: How to Know if You're Thinking Illogically?

Irrational thoughts are those that don’t make sense and lead to an emotional disturbance. They’re not grounded in the reality of a situation, which is why they may be difficult to identify on your own. You can learn more about these kinds of thoughts by reading this blog post.

How Do I Know if I’m Thinking Irrationally?Irrational Thinking: How to Know if You're Thinking Illogically?

Being able to distinguish between rational and irrational beliefs allows us greater control over our lives because here are a few tips:

  • By being aware of irrational thought patterns, you will have a better understanding when trying to recognize them within yourself or others. It’s important that you understand what types of irrational thinking there are out there.
  • There are many ways you can recognize irrational or negative thoughts, but one of the best is by looking out for extremes.
  • It’s when they start saying things like “I always” or “never. This means that there’s a good chance you’re dealing with an irrational thought because it’s simply not possible that something happens all the time or never.
  • Another way you might be able to tell if your thoughts are going down this path is through circular thinking, which involves using words such as “always”, “never” and so on without any explanation as to why these things happen over and over again.
  • Irrational thoughts can also manifest themselves as black and white thinking. This is when you see things in absolutes, such as “I’m a terrible person” or “No one will ever love me.”
  • There’s no room for the gray areas in these thoughts, which can be incredibly destructive.

Causes Of Irrational Thinking

Irrational Thinking: How to Know if You're Thinking Illogically?

There are a number of things that can lead to irrational thoughts.

  • One of the most common causes is our emotions. When we’re feeling down, anxious, or stressed, it’s not uncommon for our thoughts to take a turn for the worse.
  • External factors such as traumatic events or major life changes can also play a role in how we think.
  • If something happens that we can’t control or makes us feel out of our depth, it’s natural for us to start worrying and assuming the worst.
  • We may also develop irrational thinking as a result of personal beliefs that we’ve held onto for a long time.
  • These could be religious, political, or moral convictions that have been instilled in us since childhood and which we now hold dear.
  • It’s difficult to think rationally when we’re attached to these beliefs because they’ve become a part of how we see ourselves.

What Are Cognitive Distortions?Irrational Thinking: How to Know if You're Thinking Illogically?

Cognitive distortions are a form of irrational thinking that can be difficult to identify.

They’re mistakes in our thought process that cause us to see the world in an inaccurate way which leads us to make poor decisions and act irrationally as well.

Types Of Cognitive Distortion:

There are many different types of cognitive distortions including:

  • “All or Nothing” Thinking – This happens when we think about things either as all good or all bad; there’s no middle ground here. For example, you might think “I’m a terrible person” or “I’m the best person ever.”
  • Mental Filtering – This is when we focus on the negative aspects of a situation and ignore the positive. An example would be when you have a great day at work but one small mistake ruins your mood for the rest of the day.
  • Disqualifying The Positives – This is when we dismiss any good things that happen to us as being irrelevant or not true. For example, you might receive a compliment from a friend but automatically think “they’re just being nice” and discount it.
  • Jumping To Conclusions – This happens when we make assumptions about situations without having all the facts. An example would be thinking your partner is cheating on you because they went out for drinks with their friends.
  • Overgeneralizing – This is when we take one negative experience and apply it to every other situation in our lives. For example, if someone cuts us off while driving we might start thinking “everyone’s out to get me.”
  • Magnification And Minimization – We do this when we dismiss any good thing that happens to us as being meaningless or accidental. For instance, you might say “That’s not really a victory, I just got lucky” or “Anyone could have done that.”
  • Emotional Reasoning – This is when we believe that our feelings are always accurate reflections of reality. For example, you might think “I feel like I’m going to die, so it must be true.”
  • Labeling – We do this when we give ourselves negative labels such as “failure,” “idiot,” or “worthless” and then start to believe them. Once these labels become fixed in our minds, it’s very difficult to see ourselves in a positive light again.

Relationship Between Anxiety And Irrational Thinking

Irrational Thinking: How to Know if You're Thinking Illogically?

The link between anxiety with irrational thinking is:

  • When we’re experiencing stress and anxiety, it’s easy to fall into the trap of distorted thinking.
  • Anxiety can cause us to focus on perceived threats in our environment which leads us to think irrationally about them.
  • This is because when something makes you anxious or stressed, your body releases hormones such as cortisol. These hormones help you deal with the situation at hand by preparing yourself for “fight or flight”.
  • High levels of these hormones can make you think irrationally. Prolonged exposure to it will lower your serotonin levels, which control mood and emotions.
  • When people are stressed, it is difficult for them to think. It’s hard to know what is based on feelings and what is based on thinking.

How To Manage Irrational Thinking?Irrational Thinking: How to Know if You're Thinking Illogically?

Once you’ve become aware of the different types of cognitive distortions, there are a few things that you can do to manage them:

  • First, try and identify when you’re engaging in distortive thinking. This can be difficult at first, but with practice, it will get easier.
  • Second, challenge the distorted thoughts by asking yourself if they’re really accurate reflections of reality.
  • Third, replace the negative thoughts with more realistic and positive ones.
  • This last step might be the most difficult one, but it’s definitely possible to do with time and practice.
  • If you find that you’re struggling with irrational thinking on a regular basis, it might be a good idea to seek out professional help.
  • A therapist will help you to identify the thoughts and feelings that are causing you distress. They can also give you strategies for dealing with them.

Conclusion

In order to use the power of your brain, you have to first identify when it’s irrational. This can be hard at times because we all have these thoughts. But once you know what triggers them, it is easier to recognize them. You need to practice identifying these thought patterns in your own life and with the people around you. With this knowledge, you can make more rational decisions that will lead to success.

A Word From Mantra Care

Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.

At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depressionanxietystressrelationshipOCDLGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.

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