Many people are not aware of the negative energy brought on by toxic thinking. The cycle of negative thinking can result in anxiety about little things which results in more things going wrong and can quickly spiral out of control. Learn about the role of toxic thinking and how to combat the hold it can have on a person’s life.


Effects of Negative Thinking

Distorted thoughts reinforce negative ways of behaving and thinking. A person may practice self talk which rationalizes and sounds accurate but in reality it only serves to make a person feel bad about personal failings. The following cognitive distortions may be holding a person back from thinking more positively:


  • Filtering. The process of taking negative details and magnifying those while filtering positive aspects of the situation. For instance, a flat tire can become representative of how an entire day went wrong rather than focus on all the other positive things and dwelling on the one negative occurrence.
  • Black and white thinking. Also known as ‘all-or-nothing’ thinking. The perfectionist mentality can result in a person feeling like a failure when expectations are not met. Balance may be difficult for a person with this type of thinking.
  • Overgeneralization. Thinking becomes focused on the past rather than the future. If a person tries something and fails, it may result in thinking failure will result everytime something new is tried. A single incident becomes evidence of failure and reinforces patterns of defeat.
  • Jumping to conclusions. Thinking a person is in a bad mood because of something another individual said or did. Without searching for truth, the worst is assumed and conclusions formed about oneself.
  • Catastrophizing. A person will expect the worst no matter what the circumstances. This individual will always question what-if’s in life rather than remain in the present. This can lead to a person not doing anything in life because the worst case scenario is always around the corner.
  • Fallacy of fairness. An individual will track deeds done and, when not returned, will feel resentful and think life is not fair.
  • Blaming. A person will hold others responsible for feeling poorly. Nobody makes a person feel a certain way and this puts blame on others rather than owning one’s own feelings.
  • Emotional reasoning. This mentality is focused on how a person feels and extrapolates to one’s entire life. If a person feels stupid and depressed, then the person IS stupid and depressed which forms unhealthy emotions around who a person is rather than feelings (which fluctuate).


Cognitive distortions are not healthy as the focus is on distorted, irrational ways of thinking. Learn to understand a healthy style of thinking to shift negative thoughts. Awareness is critical and if a person is struggling, therapists and counselors can help a person see what is unseen and develop strategies for positive change.


How a person feels about themselves is important in the recovery process. If you or a loved one are struggling to see what is good and positive, it may be time for a change. Hired Power can help by providing support and assistance in recovering from toxic life events and addiction.

Most Recent Blog Posts

5 Ways To Forgive Yourself In Recovery

    Sometimes, in active addiction, we do things we aren’t proud of. We may have hurt the ones we love, do things we are ashamed of, and caused harm to ourselves. We may feel guilty, embarrassed, and angry. Although you may have gotten substance abuse treatment and are...

    Read More

    Recognizing A Problem With Alcohol

      It can be fun and relaxing to go out for drinks with your friends on Friday nights after a long work week or have a cocktail before bed. Many people drink alcohol and do so regularly, but how do you know when your drinking has become a problem? When many of us think...

      Read More

      Which 12-Step Program Is Right For Me?

        12-Step programs are a common part of addiction recovery. Many treatment programs utilize a 12-Step approach, and many of those recovering choose to attend meetings after they complete their treatment. Attending meetings can help individuals maintain their recovery...

        Read More


        21062 Brookhurst St. #201, Huntington Beach, CA 92646

        ©2021 All Rights Reserved. Design & Development by Goldman Marketing Group | Sitemap | Privacy Policy The information available on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace a medical consultation where a physician's judgment may advise you about specific disorders, conditions and or treatment options. We hope the information will be useful for you to become more educated about your health care decisions. If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact us at