Cognitive Restructuring

Last Updated: September 1, 2020

Definition - What does Cognitive Restructuring mean?

Cognitive restructuring is the process of substituting negative feelings or thoughts for a positive mindset that often dictates an individual’s attitude and perspective in assessing different situations in life. Automatic beliefs can reflect a general mentality when dealing with various circumstances, serving as a consequent factor of negative moods whether it indicates anger, depression, embarrassment, frustration, or indifference.

WorkplaceTesting explains Cognitive Restructuring

Cognitive distortion represents thought patterns that involve analyzing, interpreting, and justifying personal feelings surrounding actions or events with a certain measure of negativity that can compromise mental and physical health. Cognitive restructuring is the non-clinical approach where individuals can independently manage stressors, a primary component of negativity, by following the set criteria in which an objective appraisal of a situation can help determine automatic thoughts that trigger immediate moods. In medicine, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) incorporates cognitive restructuring as a practical technique to realign positive thoughts where an underlying mental health condition is suspect.

Since its introduction in the 1950s, cognitive restructuring has been and continues to be an effective agency for treating individuals with addictions, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Self-talk is an initial step for displacing negative thoughts with a positive outlook, providing a more suitable criterion in forming opinions and weighing criticism. While cognitive restructuring highlights an autonomous decision to change thought patterns, it is advisable to consult a therapist if cognitive distortion persists, especially given the fact that negativity incurs volatile relationships, poor morale, and job productivity decline.

Individuals can employ deep breathing exercises and meditation techniques to alleviate ongoing stress that can be contributing to the negative thoughts that, unless proper treatment ensues, can have dangerous consequences. Moreover, stress from high job demands can undermine morale, causing negative perceptions to develop that translate to other colleagues and their ability and motivation to remain positive.

Share this:

Connect with us

Email Newsletter

Join thousands of employment testing and employee wellness professionals.