Why you should look for all the colours in the world

Why you should look for all the colours in the world

It would be inaccurate to say it’s a “new” problem; because “black and white” or “dichotomous” thinking has been around for a long time.

As someone who’s experienced depression for much of my life, I’m very familiar with it (not in a good way)!

Psychologists have identified black and white thinking as being problematic within depression and related disorders since the early cognitive behavioural and cognitive therapists. In fact, it was seen as one of the core types of unhelpful thinking that could exacerbate distress and detract from happiness.

In recent years, however, it seems as though the world has become more black and white. Social media and news sources more generally seem to have become more extreme in their reporting, describing so many things as all good or bad, as right or wrong, as, well, I think you get the idea.

In cognitive therapy, clients are taught that this isn’t very helpful or realistic; and as a solution, they’re taught to look for the grey, that which exists in the middle.

I suggest many of us could benefit from this, whether we have depression or anxiety or not. I suggest when consuming news or talking to those with different opinions we could do well to avoid “either or” thinking, again, because it’s hot helpful and it’s not realistic.

More often than not, the world isn’t black and white, one thing or another. More often than not almost everything is far more nuanced than that.

But rather than looking for the grey in between the black and white, I suggest looking for ALL the colours, because there are so many beautiful colours, and seeking out and appreciating all these colours is healthier, allows for more tolerance and acceptance, and will bring about more happiness!