How to be healthy

I see the value in this kind of thinking, described as a kind of therapy by Greg Lukianoff  and Jonathan Haidt but sharing much of what I would “education” or even “parenting”:

The goal is to minimize distorted thinking and see the world more accurately. You start by learning the names of the dozen or so most common cognitive distortions (such as overgeneralizing, discounting positives, and emotional reasoning; see the list at the bottom of this article). Each time you notice yourself falling prey to one of them, you name it, describe the facts of the situation, consider alternative interpretations, and then choose an interpretation of events more in line with those facts. Your emotions follow your new interpretation. In time, this process becomes automatic. When people improve their mental hygiene in this way—when they free themselves from the repetitive irrational thoughts that had previously filled so much of their consciousness—they become less depressed, anxious, and angry.

The rest of the article talks about the death of such healthy reasoning at colleges and the rise of prickly and over sensitive warriors for social justice. I hope that such a clear explanation of the cognitive faults of such people helps cut them down to size.

2 Comments

  1. It is sad that it is almost impossible for someone to be a politician yet apply these processes to their beliefs – the incentives are too strongly opposed.

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