Most of the thoughts that automatically pop into our minds are distorted in some way; they may be unrealistically negative or selective to a fault, ultimately leaving out important information. These cognitive distortions typically result in a negative change in mood and lowered self-esteem. These thoughts occur so frequently that it is easy not to notice them at all, but what we do notice is a sudden feeling of sadness, anxiety or anger.
The challenge is learning how to identify these common cognitive distortions, how to challenge them and ultimately replace them with more helpful, realistic thoughts. Can you remember a recent event which caused an automatic thought to pop into your head (for example, 'not good enough' or 'stupid'?)