It is important to realize that thoughts are just ideas, not necessarily truths. The thoughts that you have may be completely true, partially true or completely false. For example, if you have not eaten all day and pass by people who are eating pizza, you might think, “That looks so good… I’m so hungry”, which might be true. In fact this thought is not problematic, but the one that comes next can be. The thought “I have to have some,” is not true. But if you are like most people, you probably accept this last thought as true, without really thinking about it.
All or Nothing Thinking. You see things in only two
categories when there is really a middle ground.
– Either I’m completely on my diet or I’m off my diet
– Either I’m 100% successful or I’m a failure
Negative Fortune Telling. You predict the future negatively, without
considering other possible outcomes.
– Since I didn’t lose weight this week, I’ll never be able to lose weight
– Since I gave into that craving, I’ll never be able to tolerate cravings
Overly Positive Fortune Telling. You
predict the future too positively, without considering other possible outcomes.
– I’ll be able to eat just a little bit of this food I crave, feel satisfied and stop.
– It’s okay if I just estimate the amount of food I’m supposed to have instead of measuring it.
Emotional Reasoning. You think your ideas must be true even though
objective evidence says not.
– Since I feel like a failure for having strayed, I really must be a failure.
– I feel like I just have to have something sweet right now!
Mind Reading. You are sure what others are thinking, even
in the absence of compelling data.
– People will think I am strange if I do not drink alcohol at the party.
– She will think I am rude if I do not try the brownies she baked.
Self-Deluding Thinking. You rationalize by telling yourself
things you don’t really believe at other times.
– If no one sees me eating, it does not count.
– It won’t matter if I give into my cravings.