In addressing depression and anxiety, it has been consistently shown that how we think and what we believe can highly influence our emotions and behavior (see our August 2019 blog on CBT). Many times people will find that what they think is fraught with inaccuracies upon taking a closer look.
One such example of human thinking being unreliable is the Mandela effect, named after South African apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela. Circa 2010, It was widely believed that Mandela died in prison during the 1980’s. However, he was currently alive and would die at age 95 in 2013. This is a very unusual phenomena as the same false memory is shared across a majority of people, places, and cultures.
Here are some other examples of the Mandela effect:
- The monopoly man is commonly remembered wearing a monocle but he does not adorn any eyewear.
- Darth Vader never said “Luke, I am your father”. Rather, he simply states: “I am your father”.
- Your favorite childhood book The Berenstein Bears is actually The Berenstain Bears.
- Forest Gump actually said “Life was like a box chocolates…”
If I had to guess, at least one of those examples has you doubting your own reality which is a very odd sensation. We want things to match our current understanding so don’t feel bad if you don’t believe me or you’ve already run a fact check.
What the Mandela effect has to teach us is that we can quickly pick up information and accept it as an absolute truth without any critical thought or research. However, when shown contrary information we feel dissonance and unrest. We may be reluctant to let go of we think despite putting so little effort into arriving at this conclusion. We may have to look it up for ourself or have a different experience that results in us changing our minds.
What if what you think or believe isn’t a trivial movie quote but instead something keeping you up at night? What if this thought is routinely putting yourself down? Worse yet, what if you acquired this belief without critical consideration and it isn’t even true? These thoughts hold everyday people back all of the time. Further, the Mandela effect recommends that we should be more open to letting go and thinking better about ourselves.
We help people every day think more clearly and accurately, working towards their best life. Reach out today if you’d like to learn about the role thinking plays in your world.