10 Common Irrational Thoughts

and Beliefs

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With thanks to Albert Ellis, here are 10 specific thoughts that must be recognized, evaluated, challenged and changed. It is rigid and thoughtless adherence to these specific ideas that cause us problems, not life itself:

Irrational Idea 1 - It is a dire necessity for an adult to be loved or approved by almost everyone for virtually everything he or she does.

Irrational Idea 2 - One should be thoroughly competent, adequate, and achieving in all possible respects.

Irrational Idea 3 - Certain people are bad, wicked, or villainous and they should be severely blamed and punished for their sins.

Irrational Idea 4 - It is terrible, horrible, and catastrophic when things are not going the way one would like them to go.

Irrational Idea 5 - Human happiness is externally caused and people have little or no ability to control their sorrows or rid themselves of their negative feelings.

Irrational Idea 6 - If something is or may be dangerous or fearsome, one should be terribly occupied with it and upset about it.

Irrational Idea 7 - It is easier to avoid facing many life difficulties and self-responsibilities than to undertake more rewarding forms of self-discipline.

Irrational Idea 8 - The past is all-important and because something once strongly affected one’s life, it should indefinitely do so.

Irrational Idea 9 - People and things should be different from the way that they are, and it is catastrophic if perfect to the grim realities of life are not immediately found.

Irrational Idea 10 - Maximum human happiness can be achieved by inertia and inaction or by passively "enjoying oneself."

Click here for the Six-Step Change Model for changing your thoughts and increasing your happiness

Click here for the ABC Change Model for learning optimism

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