“This problem should not, must not exist for me (musturbation) and I really cannot stand it (low discomfort tolerance). It is awful (awfulizing) and I am pretty worthless (self-depreciation) because I cannot do anything about it.”
If you are angry at another person you may modify the above and think:
“That person should not, must not do what they are doing (musturbation) and I really cannot stand it (low discomfort tolerance). It is awful (awfulizing) and they are pretty worthless (other-depreciation).”
The above examples expose the core of emotional disturbance namely musturbation, low discomfort tolerance, awfulizing, and self, other, or life depreciation.
People easily musturbate when they encounter obstacles. Musturbation, low discomfort tolerance and self/other/life depreciation beliefs are the core concepts which I try to show you are in play at the moment you are disturbed.
Once I make you of aware of these four irrational belief tendencies I attempt to show you that you have a choice. When you encounter a problem you can go along with the natural tendency all humans have to musturbate (This problem must not exist) or you can go against your natural tendency to musturbate. Going against your natural tendency to musturbate takes a degree of effort and practice. Musturbation is the default way of thinking when you encounter an obstacle. As a human you do have the ability to choose to think in a flexible, adaptable, realistic way about the obstacle. But you have to go against your natural inclination. If you do make the flexible thinking choice at the moment it is most difficult to execute this choice you will be better able to persist at solving the problem or gracefully living with it if it cannot be changed. So when you encounter a problem and go against your natural tendency to musturbate you could think:
“I really hate this obstacle that has come into my life (you are entitled to your set of values, wants and preferences). I really wish it did not exist (your flexible/preferential philosophy) but sadly it does (realism). It is difficult to bear (realism) but I see I am not dead (realism) just made uncomfortable by this problem (realism, high discomfort tolerance). What might I do to eliminate this problem (problem solving/creative thinking)? Until I can reduce or eliminate it I can choose to live well with it (acceptance) and elect to have some degree of pleasure in life despite the presence of this problem (realism).”
I have attempted to show the two ways you could think about a problem. As an REBT psychologist I will help you to question the musturbation you easily experience. These rigid beliefs are what lie at the core of your emotional upset when you encounter a problem in life or have a conflict with another human being. I will use many examples and metaphors to attempt to show you that although you easily think “This problem must not exist, should not exist, and I cannot stand it” you have other choices. REBT leaves the choice up to you. Do you choose to musturbate and have low discomfort tolerance or do you choose to think flexibly and have high discomfort tolerance? Do you choose to whine and complain about life and your problems or do you choose to philosophically accept that life is full of difficult problems but that despite these problems one can still have some degree of pleasure? Do you choose to put yourself down and blame and condemn yourself for your mistakes and unproductive behaviors or do you unconditionally accept yourself as a fallible human while acknowledging responsibility for your mistakes and trying to change your future behaviors? The choice is yours. You can choose your emotional destiny. REBT merely points out the choices you have.