Stress Mastery: Here’s A Good Antidote For Either/Or Thinking

by Doc Orman, M.D.

“Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it. Beyond the pairs of opposites of which the world consists, other new insights begin.” (Hermann Hesse)

In this post, I’m going to introduce you to a very powerful stress relief strategy called Flipping To The Opposite Reality.  This is a paradoxical strategy that is difficult for most people to embrace because it flies in the face of conventional thinking. However, it is a very good antidote for Either/Or Thinking.

What Is Flipping?

Flipping To The Opposite Reality is a cognitive strategy where you take any given thought, assumption, or conclusion and turn it on its head…in order to consider the exact opposite “reality.”

For example, if you think someone did something that was “bad” or “wrong,” you would take this thought and conceptually “flip” it to its logical opposite—that whatever the person did wasn’t really “bad or wrong” or better yet that it was actually “good or right.”

Don’t Take This The Wrong Way

Please notice I didn’t say you should believe these opposite “realities.” I simply encouraged you to create them. Once created, they can be used, or not used, in any way you want.

As human beings, we have the ability to create opposite “realities” anytime we choose.  In this technique, we are simply creating them as artificial devices to view our world differently. And if viewing our world differently helps us reduce our stress, then by all means let’s continue to make use of this awesome strategy.

What Is Flipping Good For?

The beauty of this technique is that you can use it to expand your habitual, automatic viewpoints and correct for some of the “blindness” that Either/Or Thinking often creates.

For example, if someone does something you automatically judged to be “wrong,” you can create the opposite reality—that maybe what they did was possibly “right” in some ways—and then you can re-look at what they did from this opposite perspective. Maybe it would never have occurred to you to look at what the person did from this viewpoint. But when you do re-look at things this way, maybe you’ll see some aspects of whatever happened that may have escaped your attention initially.

Remember, you are not trying to make yourself believe any of the opposite realities you artificially create. You are simply using this as a technique to help you “think outside the box” from the way you normally think.

NOTE: For more information about my unique approach to eliminating stress, please visit


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