Positive and Negative Cognitions: Understanding the Power of Thoughts

As human beings, we often tend to underestimate the power of our thoughts. Positive and negative cognitions are examples of how your thoughts can impact your mood, behavior, and overall well-being. A positive cognition can be thought of as a belief that motivates and empowers us, while a negative cognition can be a thought that creates self-doubt, anxiety, and stress.

Have you ever found yourself stuck in a negative thought pattern, obsessing over a past mistake or worrying about the future? Negative cognitions often manifest in our minds as harsh self-criticisms and beliefs that limit our potential. We don’t even realize when these thoughts seep into our consciousness, taking over our mental space and making us feel stuck in a rut.

On the flip side, positive cognitions promote a healthy sense of self-esteem and have the power to transform your mindset completely. They provide a sense of direction, purpose, and motivation. Having a positive outlook can lead to healthier relationships, improved physical health, and increased productivity.

In this blog post, we will dive deeper into the concepts of positive and negative cognitions, their importance, and how to identify them. Additionally, we will provide practical ways to shift your mindset from negative to positive, including strategies such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. With the help of this blog post, you’ll gain new insights into your own thought patterns, and learn how to leverage them for your own personal growth and well-being.

Understanding EMDR Cognitions: A Comprehensive List in PDF Format

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a widely-known psychotherapy technique that uses light, sound, or touch to stimulate both sides of the brain. It’s an effective treatment for individuals with trauma and anxiety-related disorders. EMDR focuses on three main elements: emotions, sensations, and cognitions. In this subsection, we will explore a comprehensive list of EMDR cognitions in PDF format.

What are EMDR Cognitions?

EMDR cognitions refer to the negative and positive beliefs that we hold about ourselves and the world around us. Negative cognitions arise from traumatic experiences and can lead to self-doubt, shame, and anxiety. Positive cognitions, on the other hand, are empowering beliefs that promote self-worth and positive self-talk.

The Importance of EMDR Cognitions in Healing

EMDR therapy is designed to change negative beliefs and replace them with positive self-talk. By challenging and correcting negative cognitions, individuals can experience emotional and mental healing. EMDR therapists use a PDF format to list these cognitions, which can help patients identify and work through their most damaging beliefs.

A Comprehensive List of EMDR Cognitions

EMDR therapy has identified popular cognitions that tend to surface during therapy sessions. Below is a list of positive and negative EMDR cognitions that can help patients determine where they fall. This list can be used as a starting point in identifying your cognitions and beginning to reshape your beliefs.

Positive Cognitions

  • I am capable of healing.
  • I am resilient.
  • I am loved and valued.
  • I am worthy.
  • I trust my instincts.
  • I am safe.

Negative Cognitions

  • I am not good enough.
  • I am powerless.
  • I am not lovable.
  • I am damaged.
  • I am alone.
  • I am vulnerable.

Downloading our EMDR Cognitions List in PDF Format

The list of EMDR cognitions above is just a sample of the polarizing beliefs that individuals hold. If you’re interested in exploring more EMDR cognitions, check out our downloadable PDF list. This list includes both positive and negative cognitions, as well as a helpful guide for how to use the list in your EMDR therapy.

In conclusion, identifying and working with EMDR cognitions is crucial to overcoming trauma, anxiety, and other emotional barriers. By reshaping negative beliefs and replacing them with positive self-talk, individuals can regain a sense of agency and control in their lives. We hope that our comprehensive list of EMDR cognitions in PDF format will provide valuable resources to those undergoing EMDR therapy.

What is Positive Cognition?

Positive cognition refers to our thought processes, beliefs, and attitudes that focus on the good in life. It involves viewing the world optimistically, valuing oneself, and having a positive outlook on the future. Here are some key facts to help you understand positive cognition further:

  • Positive cognition helps us cope with difficult situations by providing a sense of hope and resilience.
  • It can boost our motivation, drive, and creativity, leading to enhanced performance in various domains of life.
  • Positive cognition can also promote mental and physical well-being by reducing stress and increasing positive emotions.
  • Some common examples of positive cognitions include gratitude, optimism, self-compassion, and growth mindset.

Developing positive cognition is a process that requires mindfulness, practice, and intentional effort. By focusing on what’s going well, cultivating positive self-talk, and challenging negative thought patterns, we can train our minds to think and perceive life in a more positive light.

In summary, positive cognition is all about cultivating an optimistic, hopeful, and grateful mindset. It fosters resilience, enhances performance, and promotes well-being. By incorporating practices that cultivate positivity into our daily lives, we can reap the myriad benefits that come with it.

Examples of Negative Cognition

Negative cognitions can be defined as negative thoughts or beliefs that individuals have about themselves, others, or the world around them. These thoughts and beliefs can have a significant impact on an individual’s overall mental health and well-being. Here are some examples of negative cognitions:


Personalization is the belief that everything that happens around us is due to our actions. For example, if someone cancels plans with you, you may think it’s because you did something wrong. This type of negative cognition can lead to feelings of guilt and shame.


Overgeneralization is the belief that one negative event will continue to happen in the future. For example, if you fail an exam, you may think you will never succeed in school. This type of negative thought pattern can lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair.

Jumping to Conclusions

Jumping to conclusions is the belief that we know what others are thinking or feeling without having any evidence. For example, if someone doesn’t return your phone call, you may assume they are angry with you. This type of negative cognition can lead to misunderstandings and relationship problems.


Filtering is the tendency to focus only on the negative aspects of a situation and ignore the positive. For example, if you receive a performance review with both positive and negative feedback, you may only focus on the negative. This type of negative thought pattern can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.


Catastrophizing is the tendency to assume the worst-case scenario is going to happen. For example, if you have a headache, you may think it’s a brain tumor. This type of negative cognition can lead to anxiety and panic.

By recognizing negative cognitive patterns, individuals can work to challenge and replace them with positive thoughts and beliefs. This can lead to improved mental health and overall well-being.

What Are Negative Cognitions?

Negative cognitions are thoughts and beliefs that are harmful, pessimistic, and self-defeating. They are negative patterns of thinking that can lead to negative emotions such as anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Negative cognitions can be automatic and ingrained, making it difficult to identify them.

Examples of negative cognitions include:

  • All-or-nothing thinking
  • Catastrophizing
  • Overgeneralization
  • Emotional reasoning
  • Personalization
  • Jumping to conclusions

Negative cognitions can affect all areas of life, including personal relationships, work, and overall well-being. It is crucial to identify and challenge negative thoughts to improve mental health and quality of life.

Positive and Negative Beliefs

Our beliefs play a significant role in shaping our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Positive beliefs can boost our self-esteem and motivate us to achieve our goals, while negative beliefs can lead to self-doubt and limit our potential. Here are some key points to know about positive and negative beliefs:

  • Positive beliefs are constructive and empowering thoughts that help us see the good in ourselves, others, and the world around us. Examples include “I am capable,” “People are kind,” and “My dreams are achievable.”
  • Negative beliefs are limiting and self-defeating thoughts that focus on our flaws, shortcomings, and fears. Examples include “I am not smart enough,” “People can’t be trusted,” and “I will never succeed.”
  • Positive beliefs can increase our resilience, optimism, and happiness, while negative beliefs can decrease our confidence, motivation, and well-being.
  • Positive beliefs can be developed through affirmations, visualization, goal-setting, and exposure to positive role models and experiences.
  • Negative beliefs can be challenged and replaced with positive ones through cognitive-behavioral therapy, self-reflection, and reframing our thoughts and behaviors.

In summary, our beliefs serve as the lens through which we perceive ourselves and the world. By cultivating positive beliefs and challenging negative ones, we can enhance our mental and emotional health and live a more fulfilling life.

Positive and Negative Cognitions in EMDR

In Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), therapists use the technique to help patients resolve distressing memories. One important aspect of EMDR is identifying and processing negative and positive cognitions associated with those memories.

Identifying Negative and Positive Cognitions

Negative cognitions are self-defeating thoughts that result from traumatic events. In contrast, positive cognitions are empowering beliefs that can replace negative cognitions. The process of identifying negative and positive cognitions helps to reduce the emotional intensity of traumatic memories.

Using EMDR to Reshape Negative Cognitions

One of the primary goals of EMDR is to reshape negative cognitions into positive cognitions. This process is known as “cognitive restructuring.” The therapist guides the patient through a series of eye movements while the patient focuses on a traumatic memory. This desensitizes the patient to the memory and allows the therapist to help create new associations and beliefs.

The Importance of Positive Cognitions in EMDR

Positive cognitions play a crucial role in EMDR therapy. They help the patient develop a new perspective on the traumatic event and empower them to move forward. Some common positive cognitions include “I am strong,” “I am capable,” and “I am safe.”

Benefits of EMDR in Processing Negative and Positive Cognitions

EMDR is a highly effective form of therapy for processing negative and positive cognitions. It can help patients overcome traumatic events and develop a positive outlook on their lives. Here are some benefits of EMDR:

  • Helps patients desensitize to traumatic memories
  • Helps patients develop new and empowering beliefs
  • Can lead to significant improvement in symptoms of PTSD and other trauma-related disorders
  • Can be used in combination with other forms of therapy for maximum benefit

EMDR is a powerful form of therapy that can help patients overcome traumatic events and develop positive cognitions. By guiding patients through the process of identifying and processing negative cognitions, therapists can help them reshape their beliefs and move forward with their lives. EMDR is an excellent choice for patients who are struggling with PTSD or other trauma-related disorders.