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Overgeneralization is the view of a single negative effect or situation as a never-ending pattern of defeat. This is characterized by using words and phrases such as "never" or "always." This cognitive distortion leads to negative beliefs about yourself. Overgeneralization can contribute to anxiety, depression, and a distorted view of reality by amplifying negativity over a positive outlook. Addressing this distortion involves recognizing and challenging broad and unfounded statements, ultimately changing your perspective.

Here are some strategies to stop overgeneralizing:

1.      Identify and Challenge the Thoughts:

Recognize when you are making a sweeping generalization and question its validity. Ask yourself if you are considering all the evidence or just focusing on a single incident.

2.       Look for Exceptions:

Actively search for instances that contradict your generalization. For example, if you think you always fail at tasks, recall times when you have been successful.

3.      Balance Your View:

Weigh the negative event against positive or neutral experiences. This helps to provide a more balanced view and reduces the tendency to generalize from one negative event.

4.       Practice Self-Compassion:

Be kind to yourself when you make mistakes. Understand that everyone has setbacks and that one failure does not define your entire identity or future.

Remember that everyone's journey is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. It's crucial to find strategies that resonate with you and to be compassionate with yourself throughout the process of overcoming overgeneralization.


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