Editing Your Life’s Stories Can Create Happier Endings
January 01, 2014
psychologist Tim Wilson of the University of Virginia.
Wilson has been studying how small changes in a person’s own stories and memories can help with emotional health. He calls the process “story editing.” And he says that small tweaks in the interpretation of life events can reap huge benefits.
This process is essentially what happens during months, or years, of therapy. But Wilson has discovered ways you can change your story in only about 45 minutes.
Wilson first stumbled on the technique back in the early 1980s, when he found that a revised story helped college students who were struggling academically. “I’m bad at school” was the old story many of them were telling themselves.
That story leads to a self-defeating cycle that keeps them struggling, Wilson says.
Similar interventions have also helped students feel like they fit in socially at college
The idea is that if you believe you are something else — perhaps smarter, more socially at ease — you can allow for profound changes to occur.
a social-belonging intervention
Science 18 March 2011, 331 (6023): 1447-1451
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