The Mental Effects of Magical Thinking
Do you find yourself linking various things without any logical or scientific conclusion? Do you know someone who indulges in such conclusions? Can you come believe two unrelated occurrences to be cause and result? All these are instances of magical thinking. Magical thinking is believing about one event being the result of another unrelated event without any logical cause or reason. At some point in our life, each one of us has indulged in magical thinking one or the other. A repeated habit of it, though, can be really harmful and must be avoided.
Consider this, several people feel affected by the change in medicine. Within a day or two, they start feeling they’re having side effects. While they can continue the same medicine for years without consideration. Once or twice there could be a problem in medication but for such a large number of people to have this problem every time leads us to the conclusion of magical reasoning being involved in some cases.
Some of the mental effects of magical thinking may be:
1. Not Making Efforts
A famous book popularized magical thinking in a form of positive thinking and visualization. It said that positive affirmations, thoughts and visualizations can lead you to have success in various fields like career and relationships. This can create slackness and might create a bad habit wherein you may only think positive and don’t actually put an effort.
2. Chances of Hurting Yourself or Someone
There are several superstitions that have been ruling this planet since time immemorial. Some of them include walking on hot coals, sleeping on nails, and so on. They are extremely dangerous, but some people do these. They also force others, including their children, to do such tasks. This is believed to give good luck and ward off all evils, but can have lasting physical and mental repercussions on beings.
3. Avoiding Something Important
In the above example of medicine, chances are the patient is indirectly hurting himself or herself by refusing proper medication or hindering proper medical procedure.
4. Getting in Habit of Refuting Reason
One can easily get into a habit of refuting reason and logic once he or she starts indulging in magical thinking. To avoid that, one needs to make a conscious decision to ask for reasons and believe in reasons alone.
Some of the places where you believe something or what others say without understanding is when you’re talking about the proven laws of nature as well as when taking the advice of specialists. They may be wrong, of course, but in a majority of circumstances they aren’t. Also, it’s not possible to know about everything, that is why subject experts exist.
It is extremely important to stop magical thinking to avoid falling into the trap and harming yourself or someone else. The best way to do that is to not let others think for you and demand proof in case anything seems illogical. Look into your own bias and make notes on the same because our own bias and favouritism make us refuse reason. Always look for reason and you’ll beat the mental effects of magical reasoning.