Language, Techniques and Tutorials, Wellness Journeys, Yoga
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On the Waves of Thoughts

More than 14 million books

Published over a period of 125 years (1855 – 2019)

In 3 languages (English, German, Spanish)

Add machine learning and algorithms that tirelessly seek and identify textual markers of “cognitive distortions” — thinking patterns associated with anxiety and depression — for researchers to analyze.


They analyzed.


The interdisciplinary team of researchers found that the language records show a surge of cognitive distortions since the 1980s.


In fact, entire societies may be getting more depressed — and this may correlate with new technologies and “social” media.


Before you say, “I knew it; I just had a feeling” — just consider if that may indicate a cognitive distortion…

Find information on the cognitive distortion schemata used in the study here, and below a brief overview:

12 Cognitive Distortions

1. Catastrophizing

Exaggerating the importance of negative events

Examples: “will go wrong” and “will never end”

2. Dichotomous Reasoning

Thinking that an inherently continuous situation can only fall into two categories

Examples: “everything” and “nothing”

3. Disqualifying the Positive

Unreasonably discounting positive experiences

Examples: “good but” and “not that good”

4. Emotional Reasoning

Thinking that something is true based on how one feels, ignoring the evidence to the contrary

Examples: “because it feels” and “because I feel”

5. Fortune-telling

Making predictions, usually negative ones, about the future

Examples: “I will not” and “it will not”

6. Labeling and Mislabeling

Labeling yourself or others while discounting evidence that could lead to less disastrous conclusions

Examples: “I am a(n)…” and “They are a(n)…”

7. Magnification and Minimization

Magnifying negative aspects or minimizing positive aspects

Examples: “best” and “worst”

8. Mental Filtering

Paying too much attention to negative details instead of the whole picture

Examples: “all I can see” and “completely wrong”

9. Mindreading

Believing you know what others are thinking

Examples: “she thinks” and “he does not believe”

10. Overgeneralizing

Making sweeping negative conclusions based on a few examples

Examples: “always” and “nobody ever”

11. Personalizing

Believing others are behaving negatively because of oneself, without considering more plausible or external explanations for behavior

Examples: “because of me” and “because I”

12. Should Statements

Having a fixed idea on how you and/or others should behave

Examples: “should” and “has/have to”

Beyond books — which are typically composed, edited, and revised — let us recognize that in our hyperconnected worlds today, more and more individual consciousnesses are regularly dipping into or soaking in social media and other virtual spaces where cognitive distortions (from the subtle to the obvious) pop up rashly and run rife.

Studying these cognitive distortions, we can reflect with more precision on the many ways that we might mislead ourselves (or allow ourselves to be misled) into thinking patterns that diminish well-being and harm mental health.

The mind can flow in different directions.

Refreshingly, we may glimpse and then clearly see the many ways to improve the quality of thinking patterns for holistic wellness.

When ready to delve deeper (and be prepared; it is a deep dive), to get to the source and detach the distortions from their roots: we can learn how to clear up the kleśa (mental states that cause suffering), particularly: ignorance, aversion, and attachment.❂

The information, materials, and content in this post and on this website are for general educational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or to serve as a substitute for professional medical consultations, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare practitioners before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness routine or other wellness program.

Feature photo by George Milton

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