What You Know That Isn't So

One of the biggest sources of bad moods is something we all do very naturally: Make mistakes in our thinking. Even the best and smartest of us make mistakes in our thinking. We come to conclusions too quickly, we make assumptions based on very little evidence, we overgeneralize, and so on.

The results of these mistakes are many: Anxiety, depression, relationship problems, frustration, setbacks, demoralization, and so on.

Even when genuine misfortune occurs, mistaken beliefs make bad moods worse, and makes bad moods last longer.

That's why, whenever my mood is low — for any reason — the first tool I reach for is the Antivirus for the Mind. It is the most reliable. I sit down and write out something I believe about the situation, and then I look at my statement and try to see if I have made any of these 22 mistakes. I usually have.

As soon as you recognize a mistake in your thinking (if that mistake has been causing you to feel bad) you will feel better. It is immediate and long-lasting.

Remember this well. What you think has an enormous impact on the way you feel and on how effective you are in the world. The more accuracy in your thinking, the fewer mistaken assumptions in your thinking, the better off you will be in the future. And usually, the better you'll feel right now.

Read more:

Scientifically Speaking, There is No Reason to Be Miserable

How We Know What Isn't So (the book)

Unification Theory

Adam Khan is the author of Slotralogy and co-author with Klassy Evans of What Difference Does It Make?: How the Sexes Differ and What You Can Do About It.

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