virgin islands scene

The heresy of one age becomes the orthodoxy of the next.
-- Helen Keller


Monday, April 22, 2019

Negative exaggeration

Sometimes you can feel like everything is going wrong, but of course that is not literally true. Many things may be seriously out of order, but certainly not everything.

So start with that realization, that some aspects of your life, of the world, are still okay. Challenge your negative exaggeration, and replace it with a more thoughtful, considered view.

Provide yourself with a concrete example that contradicts your exaggeration. Remind yourself of what still works, of what continues to be dependable, reasonable, of what can bring a smile to your face.

You can be realistic and acknowledge a difficult situation without descending into hopelessness. And then you can take action -- positive action, hopeful action, effective action.

Negative thoughts often become exaggerated in order to command your full attention. Once they have your attention, they’ve done their job, and your best option is to quickly replace them.

Assure yourself that all is not lost, and prod yourself to craft a positive way forward. Make good use of whatever still works well, to repair and transcend all that has gone wrong.

— Ralph Marston

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