While reading The Coddling of the American Mind, the authors reminded me of a technique I forgot about!
Depressed and anxious thoughts feel powerful. We hear our thoughts in our own voices, and it is tremendously difficult to argue against thoughts in the same voice. Or maybe we talk to ourselves in the stern voice of a supervisor. That creates a power imbalance between who we are, and the thoughts within our mind.
Mocking how a thought sounds is a surefire way to sweep the legs out from under it.
Since being re-introduced to this technique, I adopted the slow drawl of Elmer Fudd, from Looney Tunes.
It is freaking hilarious to me to rephrase,
“I am a terrible, terrible person,” in my voice, to:
“I am a tewwible, tewwible pewson.”
For a moment, I am transported back to watching cartoons on a Saturday morning while eating a pop-tart. Doubling the effectiveness of this technique by reminding me of a time when life was less complicated.
Pick an absurd cartoon character, one that speaks, preferably, and make the character’s voice the new voice for the thoughts you really, really don’t like. By doing this, you lessen the prestige of the thought in your own mind. Making it much easier to refute whatever loony thought your mind chooses to throw at you.