DId you know that we can change our feelings by changing our thinking? When an event occurs, we interpret it in our thoughts, but not always in a rational way. When we learn to identify the ways in which we allow our thoughts to hijack our feelings, we can dispute these thoughts and begin to make lasting changes. Here then are the 3 M’s, some main ways in which our thoughts can misinterpret events:
1) Magnifying – exaggerating and over-generalizing, leading to all-or-nothing thinking (“this one setback means that I will always be a loser in every aspect of my life”)
2) Minimizing – underplaying, using tunnel vision to dismiss either positive or negative elements (“there is only bad [good] in this relationship”)
3) Making up – personalizing or blaming, emotional reasoning based on fabrications (“I feel rotten, therefore I am a rotten person”)
When we dispute these erroneous interpretations of reality, we actually change our old neural pathways and create new ones. By asking questions (“is my conclusion tied to reality, or am I ignoring something important?”) we can act as advocates for ourselves. So be your own lawyer and dispute your irrational thoughts – you’ll feel a whole lot better!