The Muppets in your mind.

Sunday July 7, 2013

How many unhelpful or distressing thoughts pass through your mind on a bad day? More than you'd like, that's for certain.

Some people find it useful to visualise or even personalise their mental monsters (which is where these negative thoughts come from). There's a long tradition of this approach. For example, Native American Cherokees use Bad Wolf, Good Wolf to describe the sources of positive and negative thinking.

Being monsters, resisting sometimes seems futile. They are too strong. When we confront our monsters, we might win for a while, but they just keep coming back for more.

But there are other ways of killing monsters besides fighting them. Monsters need food and what they live off are our reactions. Starve them of food by not reacting, by not being upset by them, and they will get weaker and weaker.

We often react to our monsters automatically and without thought. So if you want to starve your monsters to death, it's a good idea to be able to identify them individually. For instance, learn to recognise the Life's Not Fair Monster, bright red with anger and the Victim Monster, with its slumped shoulders and grumpy voice.

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