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Stinkin Thinkin and False Narratives


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A recent article written by Allan discusses “stinkin thinkin” that I am sure has crossed everyone's mind at some point, and in some form. As noted in the comments of the article, I found some of the thoughts described within the article very familiar; but, from my experience, the solution to think positively does not come very easily. When I try to think of the successful outcome, and the positive energy while completing the task, sometimes I find myself not very enthusiastic.

However, I later recalled an article called “The Secret Life of a Runner”, by Marc Parent, where Parent shares his discovery of how a vibrant imagination can be used to enhance positive thinking. I tried some false narration recently for a work out and found this use of imagination to be helpful, but perhaps they can be applied to other daily activities as well. I am interested if anyone has applied this false narrative concept, and how it has helped them.

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Thanks for the link to this article, Kaudio! I for sure use imagination in my life. We westerners tend to downplay the value of the right hemisphere of our brains it seems. Where fantasy may get you into trouble is when you stop running and just sit around fantasizing... but the opposite is not good either, where you do everything routinely and without any inspiration or aesthetic involvement. Children at play seem to have the balance right :o

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Hey Kaudio,

I am not sure what false narrative means, hum, maybe I should check online hey? Ok, I do that.... Hum, didn't really found anything that relates... Regardless, for me, at the moment I try to 'attack' the situation from two angles.

1] positive reaffirmations, which may seem cheesy but I believe they help. Afterall, if I am constantly ruminating negative 'affirmations', which really, really seem to affect my moods, shouldn't positive affirmation work, right?

2] trying to uncover what are those negative beliefs I harbor towards myself, and my life. And re-examine them, or test them, and transform them into positive ones, that, most everytime, are not only much more invigorating but also, more realistic.

One book that I find interesting is "Learned Optimism" by Martin E.P. Seligman. In this book he talks about how your 'explanatory style', meaning how you interpret events that happen to you, whether they are positive or negative, and how this explanatory style may, if pessimistic, will most likely be crippling during difficult periods of your life, logically. The thing is, he really break down this explanatory style' in multiple aspects so that you can understand their impact, and uncover unrealistic beliefs effectively.

Now, I would not advertise myself as incredibly successful so far in this area, but one thing is sure, I am convinced I can do it, and one thing that I keep in mind is, if I have a family one day, it will be helpful for them too. It is true that, I find this way of thinking incredibly difficult to change, but, right now, considering I am all down in the dumps, I figure, ironically it is the absolute perfect moment in my life to work on those negative beliefs as they come in about every two-three hours. :eek: Sometimes I do not have a retort to them, a positive belief to match my negative one, but I am convinced it can be done [i guess it is likely a lifelong maintenance/working/improvement plan, like recovering from an unhealthy lifestyle, and getting and staying fit, physically for instance].

I also am getting some help [hopefully really good help] from a therapist, that I hope will be able to be my 'coach' in terms of keeping me on track with this goal, as oppose to just listening to me ruminating some more about my situation...



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I agree finding, children really have active imaginations. If one can have such an imagination that he can just sit in one place and enjoy himself, I would sign up for that right away!

Perhaps another way to frame this is to think of yourself as an author. The false narrative is where you write yourself into a story. This is similar to the “Mary Sue” concept where an author supposedly writes himself into his own story by choosing an unrealistic character – i.e. strangely perfect, convenient backstory, etc. - to serve as his “avatar” or representative in a fictional universe. But, rather than explore the characters in depth, the false narrative suggested by Parent is to write yourself into a thrilling scene of your choice to encourage you to stay focused with whatever it is you are doing. For example, while I complete some bicep curl repetitions, I could imagine that I am pulling a plane crash survivor from a deep gorge.

Good to hear that you are getting some help, tourdelove. As you already note in your post, both the needs of the body and the mind should be addressed.

Let us know how things go.

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