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Bad Thought: I can’t stop thinking about the argument with my friend.


Some conflicts with others are so painful that it seems impossible not to ruminate about them. We try to solve it through thought, going over in our minds what was said, who was right and who wrong, how we might have done things differently, how we should go forward, and so on.

A recent study discussed in Greater Good Magazine (https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/four_ways_to_gain_perspective_on_negative_events?utm_source=Greater+Good+Science+Center&utm_campaign=b345b40e25-GG_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_09_13&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5ae73e326e-b345b40e25-52366311) affirms what the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) has taught for years: that it is possible and beneficial to mentally distance oneself from painful events.

It’s as simple as recalling these events from a third-person perspective (s/he), rather than from a first-person (I) perspective. See yourself, from a distance, having the argument, and make observations about yourself: “Wow, that’s a lot of anger she is (not ‘I am’) feeling. I wonder why she gets that angry at moments like that. “

This technique immediately turns down the heat on your emotions, and allows you to view things more objectively, from an emotionally safe distance. NLP refers to this action as “dissociation,” and uses it to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and phobias.

After you’ve practiced dissociation, it’ll be easy to think, I can let go of this conflict with my friend.

You're reading the Bad Thoughts Blog, which maintains that feeling good is as simple as thinking a better thought. I'm Debbie Covino, hypnotherapist, coach, and creator of the Master Your Own Mind self-hypnosis program, available at www.hypnotic-wellbeing.com/store

Click here to get your free Memory Spa Audio: www.hypnotic-wellbeing.com

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