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Unread 06-01-2010, 12:46 PM   #1
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Default Irrational vs. rational thoughts

I ran across this and thought it was pretty good food for thought.

http://www.stressgroup.com/rationalbeliefs.html

The 12 Irrational Beliefs (iB's) of REBT

1. The idea that it is a dire necessity for adults to be loved by significant others for almost everything they do--
Instead of their concentrating on their own self-respect, on winning approval for practical purposes, and on loving rather than on being loved.
2. The idea that certain acts are awful or wicked, and that people who perform such acts should be severely damned --
Instead of the idea that certain acts are self-defeating or antisocial, and that people who perform such acts are behaving stupidly, ignorantly, or neurotically, and would be better helped to change. People's poor behaviors do not make them rotten individuals.
3. The idea that it is horrible when things are not the way we like them to be--
Instead of the idea that it is too bad, that we would better try to change or control bad conditions so that they become more satisfactory, and, if that is not possible, we had better temporarily accept and gracefully lump their existence.
4. The idea that human misery is invariably externally caused and is forced on us by outside people and events
Instead of the idea that neurosis is largely caused by the view that we take of unfortunate conditions.
5. The idea that if something is or may be dangerous or fearsome we should be terribly upset and endlessly obsess about it--
Instead of the idea that one would better frankly face it and render it non-dangerous and, when that is not possible, accept the inevitable.
6. The idea that it is easier to avoid than to face life difficulties and self-responsibilities
Instead of the idea that the so-called easy way is usually much harder in the long run.
7. The idea that we absolutely need something other or stronger or greater than ourself on which to rely --
Instead of the idea that it is better to take the risks of thinking and acting less dependently.
8. The idea that we should be thoroughly competent, intelligent, and achieving in all possible respects --
Instead of the idea that we would better do rather than always need to do well, and accept ourself as a quite imperfect creature, who has general human limitations and specific fallibilities.
9. The idea that because something once strongly affected our life, it should indefinitely affect it --
Instead of the idea that we can learn from our past experiences but not be overly-attached to or prejudiced by them.
10. The idea that we must have certain and perfect control over things --
Instead of the idea that the world is full of improbability and chance and that we can still enjoy life despite this.
11. The idea that human happiness can be achieved by inertia and inaction --
Instead of the idea that we tend to be happiest when we are vitally absorbed in creative pursuits, or when we are devoting ourselves to people or projects outside ourselves.
12. The idea that we have virtually no control over our emotions and that we cannot help feeling disturbed about things --
Instead of the idea that we have real control over our destructive emotions if we choose to work at changing the “musturbatory” hypotheses which we often employ to create them.


REBT's 12 Rational Beliefs
Like replacing bad habits with good ones, your irrational thoughts must be replaced with more rational ones. For each of the 12 obvious irrational ideas listed here, what follows is a more reasonable way to look at the situation:
(Note: You may want to refer back to the 12 Irrational Beliefs in order for each of the below to make more sense.)
1. It is not possible for everyone to love and approve of us; indeed, we can not be assured that any one particular person will continue to like us. What one person likes another hates. When we try too hard to please everyone, we lose our identity, we are not self-directed, secure or interesting. It is better to cultivate our own values, social skills, and compatible friendships, rather than worry about pleasing everyone.

2. No one can be perfect. We all have weaknesses and faults. Perfectionism creates anxiety and guarantees failure. Perfectionistic needs may motivate us but they may take away the joy of living and alienate people if we demand they be perfect too. We (and others) can only expect us to do what we can (as of this time) and learn in the process.

3. No matter how evil an act, there are reasons for it. If we put ourselves in the other person's situation and mental condition, we would see it from his/her point of view and understand. Even if the person were emotionally disturbed, it would be "understandable" (i.e. "lawful" from a deterministic point of view).
Being tolerant of past behavior does not mean we will refuse to help the person change who has done wrong.
Likewise, our own mean behavior should be understood by ourselves and others. When people feel mistreated, they can discuss the wrong done to them and decide how to make it right. That would be better than blaming each other and becoming madder and madder so both become losers.

4. The universe was not created for our pleasure. Children are commonly told, "You can't have everything you want." Many adults continue to have that "I want it all my way" attitude. The idea is silly, no matter who has it. There is nothing wrong, however, with saying, "I don't like the way that situation worked out. I'm going to do something to change it." If changes aren't possible, accept it and forget it. An ancient idea is to accept whatever is.

5. As ancient philosopher Epictetus said, it is not external events but our views, our self-talk, our beliefs about those events that upset us. So, challenge your irrational ideas. You may be able to change external events in the future and you certainly can change your thinking. Remember no one can make you feel anyway; you are responsible for your own feelings.

6. There is a great difference between dreadful ruminations about what awful things might happen and thinking how to prevent, minimize, or cope with real potential problems. The former is useless, depressing, exhausting, and may even be self-fulfilling. The latter is wise and reassuring. Keep in mind that many of our fears never come true. Desirable outcomes are due to the laws of behavior, not due to our useless "worry." Unwanted outcomes are also lawful, and not because we didn't "worry."

7. As with procrastination, avoidance of unpleasant tasks, and denial of problems or responsibilities frequently yields immediate relief but, later on, results in serious problems. The lifestyle that makes us most proud is not having an easy life but facing and solving tough problems.

8. People are dependent on others, e.g. for food, work, etc., but no one needs to be dependent on one specific person. In fact, it is foolish to become so dependent that the loss of one special person would leave you helpless and devastated.

9. You can't change the past but you can learn from it and change yourself (and maybe even the circumstances). You can teach an old dog new tricks. Self-help is for everyone every moment.
10. It is niceto be concerned, sympathetic, and helpful. It is not helpful and may be harmful to become overly distraught and highly worried about other people's problems. They are responsible, if they are able adults, for their feelings, for their wrong-doing, and for finding their own solutions.
Often there is little you can do but be empathic. Avoid insisting on rescuing people who haven't asked you for help.
11. A helpless, hopeless "I-can't-change" attitude is not in keeping with modern-day self-help and therapeutic methods. There are many ways to change unwanted feelings. On the other hand, there is merit in "being able to flow with your feelings" in certain circumstances.
Being unable to feel or express certain emotions is a serious handicap but correctable. Being dominated by one's emotions--a slave to your emotions--is also a serious but correctable problem. As long as our emotions are sometimes destructive and irrational, it is crazy to unthinkingly "follow our feelings."
12. Perfection is NOT the goal. There is no one perfect solution but there may be several good alternatives. Try one, see what happens (observe the laws at work), and try again if your first idea doesn't work. Perfectionism causes problems, including taking too much time, becoming too complicated, causing undue anxiety, and lowering our self-esteem.
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Unread 06-01-2010, 02:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: Irrational vs. rational thoughts

6. There is a great difference between dreadful ruminations about what awful things might happen and thinking how to prevent, minimize, or cope with real potential problems. The former is useless, depressing, exhausting, and may even be self-fulfilling. The latter is wise and reassuring. Keep in mind that many of our fears never come true. Desirable outcomes are due to the laws of behavior, not due to our useless "worry." Unwanted outcomes are also lawful, and not because we didn't "worry."


This is my achilles heel. Rumination. I'm getting better about it, but I am a worrier at times. I can catastrophize with the best of them. My sister is having her bone marrow transplant this evening. I could easily ruminate over all the things that might go wrong for her over the next few weeks. But there's not a darned thing I can do about it except pray.
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Unread 06-01-2010, 03:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Irrational vs. rational thoughts

Wow! what a helpful list.

thank you for sharing..... I've only just read to #3 .... concentration is a bit off today.....
but I will mark this and refer back to it.

thank you

fins
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Unread 06-01-2010, 03:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Irrational vs. rational thoughts

I'm glad you're getting better at it. Whenever I catch myself getting anxious I switch to thinking of at least one thing I can do to make myself feel better. Sometimes it's funny, like when I was awake in the middle of the night and worried about the dust on the door lintel and how I was going to be 90 years old and alone and unable to clean and be buried alive under my dirty stuff, etc. :-) The next day I deliberately cleaned the lintel!
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Unread 06-01-2010, 03:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Irrational vs. rational thoughts

Hee, hee. Great visual image.
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Unread 06-01-2010, 06:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Irrational vs. rational thoughts

Great read!
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Unread 06-01-2010, 07:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Irrational vs. rational thoughts

thank you for sharing
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Unread 06-01-2010, 07:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: Irrational vs. rational thoughts

Thanks, FG!

And thanks to you, too, Perna, going to clean now....
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Unread 06-01-2010, 08:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: Irrational vs. rational thoughts

Thanks, very helpful!

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