Characteristics of negative automatic thoughts are:-

1- As the names suggests, they are negative. They involve seeing the downside of everything ; thinking that you have failed in some way, or that other people disapprove of you, or that you are lazy, useless and so on.

2- They are automatic in the sense that these are not thoughts you try to have or deliberately think- they just pop into your head.

3- They are often brief and, when you are depressed, frequent.It only takes a second to think ,”I ‘ve made a mess of that ,’ and you may have such thoughts dozens of times a day or more.

4- They are often plausible – they may seem obviously true to you: they appear to be a simple description of reality , rather than just a thought. One of the crucial steps in coping better with negative automativ thoughts is recognising that ‘ thoughts are like opinions , not facts’. In other words , like opinions , thoughts might be true, but they may also be inaccurate and unhelpful . Therefore, again like opinions , each one needs whether it is accurate or not. Another way of putting this is the motto : ‘Don’t believe everything you think!’

5- They ‘match ‘ the depression in the sense that anyone who thoughts like that would be likely to feel depressed . For instance , most of us would get depressed if we genuinely believed that we were useless of everything and no one liked us.

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