by Guest Blogger T.
In this guest post, T shares one technique
he uses to successfully manage mood and
obsession issues. I know you will enjoy his
insights as much as I did. cb
One of the cognitive distortions that I regularly fight against is mind-reading. So, when I started thinking negative thoughts, and as an experiment, I literally tried disarming the negative thoughts with a smile. In doing this, I started to progressively feel better throughout the afternoon. I immediately started forward-thinking that I am going to be smiling 24 hours a day! As an example, I started thinking negative thoughts regarding other surfers. Instead of getting really anxious about their negative thoughts, I just started smiling. Then another bad thought came, and guess what? I chose to just start smiling. I started to realize that the root of the negative thought is like a negative comment from someone.
I also realized that disarming with a smile can be just that…a smile! In my previous post, I disarmed with a smile and then had a mantra that helped me cope with the situation. So, I found another methodology that works for me! That is, to just smile and not attach any words to the situation. For example, if I am upset that someone on the freeway is driving erratically, instead of smiling and saying, “there’s my friend in a hurry”, what about just smiling? Saying “there’s my friend in a hurry” implies a relationship with the erratic driver. This may not be a bad thing, but what if they start behaving shortly thereafter on the road? Then, I assume that I would have mixed feelings about the situation. So, I am going to make an attempt to just smile.
I have to admit that I didn’t know that the result would be so profound. The feeling carried me the rest of the day and into the evening. I am in an applied mathematics graduate program and am in my final semester. I felt so clear in class that I literally had the most enjoyable lecture in the whole degree. I even wrote an email to the professor that read, “Thank you for your lecture tonight. I really wanted to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and am really looking forward to the rest of the semester.” I have never written to a professor before, and I think I am displaying some aura of confidence that I hope the reader can appreciate.
1600 Rosecrans Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266