The Ladders has compiled 5 rituals from the work of Professor Tim Wilson featured in his work Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious.
A vital element in understanding the rituals is in a clear grasp of personal narrative.
Personal narratives define who we are, and a fundamental part of understanding and changing yourself is being aware of the stories you tell yourself about who and what you are.
Naturally, with this in mind, you can see how a negative life story breeds a negative self-image.
Further, a positive life story needs maintenance in order to build a healthy self-image.
The 5 Traits
The 5 traits outlined by Professor Wilson are:
1: Remembering that your conscious mind isn’t always accurate
You may interpret certain behaviours and statements not as they actually are. Therefore, it’s safer to maintain your commitment to a higher goal and let the worries of the day fall by the wayside
2: Remembering your internal storyteller exaggerates
It is a natural reaction to stress for humans to overdramatize. Understand you’re an emotional being and allow the stress space to leave your mind and body
3: Remembering your “psychological immune system”
You may feel very depressed about something in the immediate aftermath, but, with time and effort, your mind will rewrite your story with a happier ending
4: Actively influencing your internal narratives
As explored above, you can accelerate emotional recovery by writing about your problems and defining the narratives that are the best for you
5: Doing good and being good
If you craft a positive internal narrative, be mindful that your actions will follow suit. Just as if you craft a negative one, your actions will follow suit