Thoughts are just thoughts, not facts. Unfortunately, we often over-identify and fuse with our thoughts – and that can be a real problem when the thoughts are negative and punitive. For example, you might react to the thought “I’m useless” as if you are really useless, making you feel sad and hopeless. In this column, I give some tips on how to casually defuse from negative thoughts.
When was the last time you made conversation with a stranger? Does it seem awkward and not worth the bother? Would you be surprised to hear that routinely talking with strangers can make you happier?
And yet, the research is clear on this – whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, striking up brief conversations with strangers is more enjoyable than you think and good for your well-being.
I recently talked about exposure therapy and the importance of facing your fears. But what if you fear the thought of relaxing and being 'too happy'? One way of changing this mindset is by devising what I call emotional exposures. This article explores the aim of these emotional exposures: to drop that guard, to give give yourself permission to hope and be happy.