The art of not poisoning life

The art of not poisoning life

A beautiful day has arrived in my hands the book titledThe art of not poisoning life, from Rafael Santandreu.

A friend psychologist lent it to me saying, "Read this book, you will learn a lot of interesting things, for my part, it allowed me to improve my therapies with my patients, but also to grow as than anyone. "

I started to read it, full of enthusiasm and expectations, and I was not disappointed … quite the contrary! I was impressed.

I quickly realized that this book was based on the rational-emotional therapy set up by renowned psychotherapist Albert Ellis.

This therapy allowed me to feel identifiedsince I discovered authors like Ellis or Auger, even more radical.

It was the slap I needed at the time, and it allowed me to open my eyes to many aspects of my life.

The art of not poisoning life, is not a classic personal development book that tells you what you want – or need – to read so you can feel good for a moment.


You will not read that life is pink, that you have to be 100% optimistic in all circumstances and always see the good side of things, or that you and your life, you are wonderful.


The purpose of this book is to allow you to be stronger emotionally speaking.

It's about cleaning the tracks on the glasses of your glasses that are so dirty that they distort the reality, to finally create another one, subjective, based on your own irrational beliefs and provoking in you an important emotional malaise.

When we talk about our irrational beliefs to psychologists, they refer us to affirmations, evaluations, truths and subjective assessments that we were taught in our earliest childhood.

What matters is the way we interpret the things that happen to us, or in other words, the glasses in our glasses.

If they are clean, our beliefs will be rational, tonic, based on reason as well as reality, and they will be accompanied by healthy emotions.

On the other hand, if the glasses of our glasses are dirty, then we will only feed our irrational beliefsthat do not correspond to reality and that do not help us achieve our goals, which then causes us great suffering.

Thus, if we wear these dirty glasses, our irrational beliefs become to our eyes true, absolute and indisputable. This is when emotional problems arise.

The book also teaches us that, as Epictetus said, it is not the situations we face that are responsible for our emotional suffering, but ourselves, with our irrational beliefs and internal dialogue, that create our own evil. -be.

Most people tend to think that there is a direct relationship between situation and emotion.

If that were the case, everyone would react in the same way to given situations, and we know that is not the case. Therefore, the equation is more complex than "situation-causes-emotions".

There is an intermediate ingredient: beliefs and thoughts. What good news ! If my thoughts condition me and make me believe in my disturbances, I have the power to feel good! Everything depends on me!

In the book, one can discover that some of these beliefs are demands on oneself, others and the world, needs that no one actually needs, or negative extrapolations of what can happen to us or what has happened .


"When we demand, we tend to think in terms of" homework ", obligations and pressuresand we say, "My husband should always treat me well!", "I should always be the perfect father!" or "I should not cry today while I'm on vacation!"


When we think we need what we need to survive, such as the approval of others, success, a companion who loves us, or the work of our dreams, we create even more anxiety. .

Indeed, if we never succeed, we will be invaded by disappointment, and if we achieve all or part of our objectives, we will be afraid and anguished at the idea of ​​losing everything.

We do not realize that what really matters in life is to drink and eat ; that's what really allows us to enjoy life.

The rest of the needs that can be felt are traps, things that are wrongly believed to be needed.

When we have the annoying habit of extrapolating negatively, we tend to see what happens to us as terrible, unbearable and catastrophic, such as the worst thing that could happen to us.

Even if objectively, an element is not completely negative, we will automatically consider it as "terrible", without ever taking the time to reason, because we end up feeling emotions in accordance with this approach to reality, such as that anxiety, and depression.


With The art of not poisoning life, we start cleaning our glasses. In the book, this cleansing is based on scientific method and logic.



By using reason, we can come to realize that some of our thoughts and beliefs are false and unreal, and that by believing hard in something that is not true, one self-destructs.

On the other hand, it is not good for us not to be able to accept with moderation and tranquility the inevitable adversities of life by constantly telling us that what is happening to us is terrible and catastrophic.


If we use our logic wisely, then we understand how to proceed to soothe our emotions.


The first step is to pay attention to everything that can pass your head; What are you saying to feel so bad?

Why do you still need your mother's approval? Why is it a failure for you not to work in the field in which you studied?

Why, in case you do not find the love of your life, would life have no meaning?

Once you have successfully identified your irrational beliefs, you will have to argue with them and fight them through questioning and confrontation.

For that, you will have to convince yourself that these ideas are unrealistic. In his book, Rafael Santandreu invites you to ask the right questions:

  • Do other people in the same situation as me (or in worse situations) manage to be happy?
  • Despite the adversities, can I achieve goals that would be as interesting to me as to others?
  • In this huge universe filled with planets and stars that are born and die indefinitely, are the things that happen to me really serious? Are they really important? Is it really so terrible?

The more arguments we find, the easier it will be for us to establish a rational belief and to impregnate ourselves with it until it is ours.


The secret of the success of this method lies in the daily perseverance.You must chase away your irrational ideas, confront them, and replace them.


Gradually, these new behaviors will turn into automatisms, until finally becoming your new philosophy of life.

However, given thatnegative emotions never completely disappearit is impossible and not advisable that you manage to get rid of it, because all the emotions are important for your survival.

On the other hand, exaggerated and unhealthy emotions disappear. You can get out of the prison of malaise. The secret is in you. Freedom and happiness are guaranteed.

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