Feeling Good - The New Mood Therapy

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy is an amazing and highly recommended book. I learned so much from it. Although… I don’t think I’m classified as depressed… I realized that sometimes I just feel down because my thinking is fucked up.

I also learned quite a bit about myself. I think it’s because I grew up in a really asian family. It’s like… all about that family approval. And thus I grew up with a strong.. attachment to approval. And it’s been messing me up. I’ve been dealing with the need for approval in a negative way and I learned that through this book. Basically… when you have a need of approval you try to get everyone to like you. Or… everyone that matters in your life to like you. The toxic way that I previously got around to it was just labelling everyone as worthless. Thus everyone’s approval is worthless and it don’t affect me. But it doesn’t get rid of the root cause. It’s just a mal-adaptive but I guess it’s better than living for approval. Anyways. It’s good that I know it. It’s like.. I know I have an addiction for approval so the first step is acknowledgement and awareness. So that I may fix it.

The 10 big classifications of negative thinking. It’s so crazy accurate and so good. It’s almost like… whenever I feel really down… it’s always because of one of the 10 listed reasons. I think… this book is probably better than seeing a therapist. I kept thinking that maybe I was depressed… and maybe I am. But therapy is so much paperwork and retardedly expensive. I’m not gonna say therapy is bad. I’m gonna say that this book did wonders for me and that it’s probably better than most therapists if you are the type who is very self aware and analytical.

I wrote down all the bad negative thinking in a notebook as I was reading it since I wanted to have quick access to it and I’ll just summarize the major points that you should be aware of. Note that the book contains quite a bit more information and that it’s really good and you should totally get it here.

All or nothing thinking - You see things as black and white. If your performance isn’t perfect then it’s a fail. But perfection doesn’t exist. You can always do something better. Even if you’re the richest person on earth… you could be even richer than you are now. So no point in aiming for perfection.

Overgeneralization - a single negative event is seen as a negative event. A girl rejects me and thus all girls in the world will reject me. That took me awhile to get over. lol.

Mental Filter - focusing on the negative and dwelling on it. When all you focus and remember are negative events it kinda messes you up. No use in thinking about past mistakes. It’s important to just move on and learn.

Disqualifying the positive - Positive experiences don’t count because… blah. Examples for me: I did a major code refactor without a problem because someone else code reviewed it. I read a book a week but everyone great reads a book a week.

Jumping to conclusions - aka mind reading. Someone didn’t respond to my text / message because they hate my guts. It’s more likely that they didn’t see the message yet. Someone ignored me when I said hi. It’s more likely that they didn’t notice me.

Fortune telling error - predicting a shitty future. Why go to the party since the party will suck. Why go watch movies with friends since the theatre experience sucks. Why leave the house cause the outdoor sucks.

Magnification (Catastrophizing) - Any mistake is a fatal mistake. All good actions are small. I accidently took down the site for 2 minutes… I’mma get fired. I reduced 50% of the database load… but anyone else could’ve done it as well. Similar to disqualifying the positive I guess.

Emotional Reasoning - I feel therefore I am. I feel sad so therefore I am sad. I feel nervous so therefore I’m nervous. Just because you feel something doesn’t mean it’s reality. There are so many times that I felt nervous about doing something… did it and then realized that the nervous / fear was just an illusion. It’s all just a scam.

Should Statements - You should do this or you should do that. Oh man. This applies to me so much. I should go to the gym. I should read more books. I should eat more healthy. All the should statements are paralyzing. And what’s worse is that when you apply this to others. Other people should treat me nicely because I treat them nicely. Luckily for me I gave up on others. Like… I don’t expect anything of others. I just navigate around them. It’s like social jujitsu. Go with the flow.

Labeling and mislabelling - I am a failure. I am unworthy. I am poor. What does it even mean to be a failure? What does it mean to be unworthy? Am I really poor? The moral of this is that you can’t really fail at life. You can fail at certain aspects of life… but you can’t just be a failure. And don’t let other people tell you otherwise. Of course… you shouldn’t label others as well. That person is an asshole / bitch. But with their family they could be the nicest person. Nothing is absolute. I guess this is similar to all or nothing thinking.

Personalization - seeing yourself as the cause for some negative event you weren’t responsible for. The bird shat on me and it’s totally my fault. Life sucks. The stock that I bought went down and it’s totally my fault. My brother doesn’t shower so it’s my fault that I’m not a good brother. Not true. I can’t control others and I shouldn’t feel responsible for others. I’m only responsible for my actions.

I hope that the above list will help you pull out of the spiral of negativity and keep you all straight and positive. I know that this book helped me out immensely and I highly *highly recommend it.

tl;dr - This book helped me out so so much. You should totally buy it and read it. Get it here