What you tell yourself about a situation affects how you feel and what you do. Sometimes your interpretation of a situation can get distorted and you only focus on the negative aspects—this is normal and expected. However, when you interpret situations too negatively, you might feel worse. You’re also more likely to respond to the situation in ways that are unhelpful in the long term.
These automatic thoughts and assumptions are sometimes called thinking traps. Everyone falls into unbalanced thinking traps from time to time. You’re most likely to distort your interpretation of things when you already feel sad, angry, anxious, depressed or stressed. You’re also more vulnerable to thinking traps when you’re not taking good care of yourself, like when you’re not eating or sleeping well.