Stress Relief Strategies: Flipping To The Opposite Reality—Part 1

by Doc Orman, M.D.

This week, I’m going to introduce a very powerful stress relief strategy called Flipping To The Opposite Reality.  Today (Monday), I will explain what this strategy is.  On Wednesday, I’ll explain what it’s good for.  And then on Friday, I’ll explain why it works so well to help us reduce our stress.

What Is Flipping?

Flipping To The Opposite Reality (“Flipping” for short) is a cognitive strategy where you take any given thought, assumption, or conclusion and you literally turn it on its head and consider the exact opposite “reality.”

For example, if you think someone did something that was very “bad” or “wrong,” you would take this thought or conclusion and conceptually “flip” it to its logical opposite—namely that whatever was done wasn’t really all that “bad” or “wrong” or even better that it was actually “good” or “right” when viewed in a different way.

Similarly, you could use flipping to transform other common statements as follows:

  • Someone was “hurt” or “harmed” can be flipped to someone was “not really hurt or harmed.”
  • Mr. X was “unilaterally to blame” for murdering Mr. Y can be flipped to Mr. X was “not unilaterally responsible” for murdering Mr. Y.
  • “I don’t deserve to be treated like this” can be flipped to “I absolutely do deserve to be treated like this.”

Don’t Take This Technique The Wrong Way

Notice that 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 several ways.

The point here is that as human beings, we have the ability to create these opposite “realities” anytime we choose.  We don’t need anyone’s permission to do this, and we don’t need to concern ourselves with whether the opposite “realities” we invent are actually true.

We are simply creating them as artificial devices we can use to ultimately help us reduce our stress.

How can we use these artificial devices to our benefit, you ask?  Stay tuned, as this  will be the subject of my next post in this series.

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