When we see everything negative

When we see everything negative

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When we see everything negative, in reality, it is not everything, but we think so. And as we think so, we are convinced that everything that happens to us is bad. We observe here and there and are unable to highlight a positive aspect of our day to day. We got home and nothing seems good, nothing? At that moment, nothing. We complain about our home, our friendships, our relationships, our work ... We are able to complain about everything. But ... is everything so negative?

Throughout the article, the main cognitive distortions that are the basis of this thought will be reviewed. At the same time, different ways of dealing with them will also be proposed to change it for a more positive and adaptive thinking. Let's get started!


  • 1 When we see everything negative: cognitive distortion
  • 2 Main negative distortions
  • 3 When we see everything negative: our habits

When we see everything negative: cognitive distortion

Seeing everything negative is a cognitive distortion. We remember that Cognitive distortions are mistakes we make when we process information. As a result of these processing errors, non-adaptive responses are produced, that is, they make it difficult for us every day, so it is important to identify these distortions and correct them.

Negative distortions or errors of thinking are usually, above all, automatic thoughts that assail our mind and take over it. The good news is that distortions are learned, so they can be re-learned, that is, we can modify them and think in a more functional and adaptive way. When we see everything negative, we are making several distortions in one. So to do this, let's review the main thinking errors.

Main negative distortions

Filtering or tunnel vision

Only one element of a situation is seen, usually the negative. In this case, when everything seems negative, we only focus on those aspects that we like least from our day to day. We overlook any other fact that may be positive. Thus, our attention is only focused on the negative and, therefore, we see our reality in a negative way.

Polarized thinking

Everything is black or white, good or bad, that is, there are no middle terms. This distortion also works for when everything seems negative, since Not everything is bad. If we stop to observe a normal day a little better, we will find many facts worthy of being qualified as positive: that someone smiles at us, help another person, prepare a good plate of food ...

Maximization or dramatization

The importance of a situation and / or its consequences is exaggerated. Usually, when we see everything negative, we tend to dramatize what happens to us. If we drop a glass on the floor we can think that everything goes wrong, that we do not know anything. If we fail an exam we can think the same. When someone is wrong to give us the change in the store we tend to think that it was us because we have bad luck.

"Your concept or perception of reality is not reality. When you get caught up in your perceptions and ideas, you lose reality.".

-Thich Nhat Hanh-

In these situations it is advisable to see things without added drama. A glass is a glass, an exam is an exam and if someone has made a mistake with the change, it could have been with us or with anyone. A highly recommended technique to strip observing things in a more real way and without so much conditioning is mindfulness. With this technique we learn to observe what wrong thoughts are those that we add to the situations.


We reach a general conclusion of an isolated event. We use words like "always, everything, never, nobody, everything ...". For example: "I have not known how to make an omelette well, everything goes wrong." Definitely, that everything does not exist 24 hours a day. Submitting our thinking to debate is a good way to face it and weaken it. What is everything? Is everything that happens to me during the whole day negative? Nothing positive happens to me? I really don't know how to do anything? The absolute terms are only the fruit of our minds.

Control fallacies

This distortion has two aspects, on the one hand the person may think that he has lost control of everything and on the other he wants to have an exaggerated control of the situations. When we think that we have lost control of everything we can come to think that everything is wrong. The same happens when we want to control everything since it is impossible for everything to be under our control.

"They should"

Rigid rules on how we and others should act. At this point our expectations come into play. When what happens does not fit with the idea we had formed, that is, with our expectations, we feel bad, disappointed. In this way, suffering is generated in us. It is because of that The recommendation for the "should" is to accept that what happens out there is changing and variable. Keeping an open mind to what can happen, guarantees us to suffer less and face setbacks more flexibly.


This distortion also has two aspects. On the one hand the person tends to blame others for their suffering or blames themselves for the suffering that causes others. When we see everything negative, on many occasions, we tend to blame others for our misfortunes and our unhappiness. However, when this is so, the best we can do is practice instrospection and see what responsibility we have in everything that is happening to us.

Catastrophe Anticipation

The person expects disaster from a small signal. "What if… ?""My head hurts a little, what if I had a tumor?" When we see everything negative we also tend to look to the future with some pessimism. "Everything is wrong and everything will be wrong." For this, mindfulness also serves as a great tool as it helps us to be in the present moment. Our attention and our thoughts go ahead in time, but we, with this practice, bring the mind back to the present moment.

Interpretation of thought

We believe that we know what others think and why they do what they do. "He asks me how I am because I feel sorry for him", "you have looked at me badly because you think you are better than me" ... This aspect is also important since when everything seems to be wrong, we usually interpret the thoughts of others in the most possible negative

When we see everything negative: our habits

Seeing everything negatively, as mentioned above, is part of an apprenticeship. This learning can be both conscious and unconscious. If in our environment the people around us have a catastrophic discourse, we are likely to end up thinking that the reality that surrounds us is negative. On the other hand, if our environment is stimulating, optimistic and positive, our vision will be completely different.

So that, the energy of our habits come into play, that is, the inertia that our way of thinking has. Restructuring the mind is possible, but to think that it can be done in one day is a mistake. The energy of our habits leads us to think the same way over and over again even when we are working to change our thinking. It is therefore very important, not to give up on the attempt and practice. Why, little by little, we will internalize a new way of seeing life that will make us see the positive aspects of our surroundings.

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