Cognitive Distortions: Mind Reading Worksheet

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According to the American Psychological Association (APA), cognitive distortion can be defined as faulty or inaccurate thinking, perception or belief. (APA, © 2022) Often at times, cognitive distortions fuel our anxiety and increase our misery.

There are a number of cognitive distortions identified in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, the most common include: 

  1. All-or-Nothing Thinking/ Polarized Thinking
  2. Overgeneralization
  3. Mental Filter
  4. Catastrophizing/ Magnification or Minimization
  5. Mind Reading/ Jumping to Conclusions
  6. Predicting the future
  7. Emotional Reasoning
  8. “Should” Statements
  9. Labelling

    10. Personalization and Blame 

This particular worksheet will focus on: MIND READING.

What Are The Theories Behind This Worksheet?

Mind reading is one of the cognitive distortions characterized by the assumption of what someone else thinks of you or the automatic negative thought that other people look down on you without any evidence. 

Mind reading tends to manipulate the mind and is known to contribute to depression and anxiety, especially social anxiety.

People who struggle with mind reading often at times assume that people will focus on their flaws even though that may not be the case at all.

Example: I called my friend three times and did not receive a response, she is definitely avoiding me, she must think I am annoying.

Mind reading is also called ‘thinking error’ or ‘jumping to conclusions.’

How Will This Worksheet Help You?

This worksheet is targeted to help individuals learn to recognise and challenge this cognitive distortion of mind reading.

This can be done by reducing self-consciousness, shyness, and the negative feelings attributed to depression and anxiety.

This worksheet will help you test the reality of your thoughts, channel your negative thoughts to positive ones and lastly, get rid of self-doubt and judgement.

How Should You Use This Worksheet?

Your thoughts, emotions and actions play a big role in shaping how you perceive yourself, others and the world around you. 

There are different ways of managing mind reading. To begin with, learn to separate your thoughts from actual events, challenge your negative thinking patterns and aim for a balance in your thoughts.

You should use this worksheet as a guide to help you improve your state of mind and gain mental clarity.

This worksheet is a great self-evaluation kit. 

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American Psychological Association. (© 2022). Cognitive Distortion. Available at:  [Accessed October 17, 2022].