Shifting Perspectives Could Improve Your Health

If you look at your writing how much do you use words like: I, me, my and how often do you use: you, we, he, she?

James Pennebaker’s research suggests that when people’s use of pronouns is flexible i.e. some days they write a lot about themselves and some days their writing is more dominated by other pronouns (you, we, he, she); the better their physical health.

This makes sense from the perspective of ACT and Relational Frame Theory.

It seems that one aspect of psychological well being is to be able to flexibly take different perspectives. To be able to consider the perspective of:

  • Myself in the here and now
  • Other people – both now and in the future
  • Other people  – both those I am close to and people who are different to me
  • Myself in the future – What would an older me suggest?
  • Myself in the past – How would I have viewed this when I was five?

It seems that flexibility in perspective taking is a bit like having a flexible body – we need to work at it. So I encourage you to play with these other perspectives.

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