Stress Relief Strategies: Flipping To The Opposite Reality—Part 2

by Doc Orman, M.D.

This week, I’m going over a powerful stress relief strategy called Flipping To The Opposite Reality.  On Monday, I explained what this strategy is.  If you missed that post, here is the link:

Flipping To The Opposite Reality–Part 1

Today, I’m going to explain what this coping strategy is good for.  Then on Friday, I’ll explain why it works so well and how you can use it to help reduce your stress.

What Is Flipping Good For?

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

As I pointed out in my first post in this series, you don’t create these opposite “realities” to believe them.  You simply make them up, out of thin air, and then once created, you can do anything you want with them.

One thing you can do with them is use them to expand your viewpoints.  For example, if someone does something you judge to be “wrong,” you can create the opposite reality—that maybe what they did wasn’t really wrong or maybe it was even “right” in some ways—and then you can re-look at what they did from a completely new perspective.   Maybe it would never have occurred to you to look at what the person did from this opposite perspective.  But when you do, maybe you will see some things that escaped your attention initially.

Remember, you are not trying to make yourself believe in any opposite reality you artificially create.  You are simply using this as a technique—a little cognitive trick you can employ— to help you “think outside the box” for a moment or two.

Food For Thought

Many people have heard the term “thinking outside the box,” but most find it very hard to do this.  Flipping To The Opposite “Reality” is one good way to encourage yourself to do this.  And the great thing about this handy technique is that you don’t have to rack your brain very much to figure out just what type of “outside the box” thinking you should use.  Just take the way you are already thinking and “flip” it to its polar opposite.  Presto—just like that, you are outside  the “box.”

Remember, all you are trying to accomplish with this technique is looking at things from a completely different perspective.  Sometimes when you do this, you will actually see things you may have missed that were hidden from your view by your primary way of thinking.  Other times, you may give this technique a try and not really see anything new or revealing.  That’s OK, because the few times you do see something new and important, you’ll be surprised at how much of a difference this can make.

Stay Tuned…

Not sure why you might ever want to use this handy technique?  Stay tuned for my third and final blog post in this series, where I’ll try to explain how you can use this simple technique to help you reduce your stress.

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