Magical thinking has been described as that your thoughts, ideas, words and actions can influence the outcome of specific events in the material world. As with just about every kind of thinking- it can be a good and supportive thing, as well as a detrimental one.

This shows up often when people find connections in unrelated events or may have a fear that one thing may lead to another when there is no rationality to the belief. These thought patterns may not always be harmful, but they might hold you back when left unchecked. Personal awareness of our thinking is helpful here.

I have witnessed a kind of magical thinking when people, faced with evidence they don’t want to be true, see something totally different, hear something different, see something different than reality. They are fooling themselves and setting up for feeling hurt.

This can be a good thing, too– magical thinking can stir imagination, finding meaning in difficult experiences, and has been linked in some cases to higher life satisfaction. Confidence, optimism, survival and a feeling of comfort and hope can occur with those using magical thinking.

In reverse, too much magical thinking can work against you. Some examples of this, courtesy of @LINDSAYBRAYMAN ( are:

-If I avoid the thought, the bad thing won’t happen.

-If I ignore my symptoms, they will go away.

-If I don’t talk about my past, it won’t impact my life now.

-I caused a thing to happen by thinking about it.

-If I use THIS mug I’ll have a good day.

-If I want something bad enough, it will come to me.

Questions to ask yourself and to journal about: Do you see yourself in any of these examples? And are there times when you are telling yourself a different story of reality, even with faced with facts and evidence?

It’s okay, awareness is what we are after. Allow your mind to go in helpful directions, but learn to be aware enough to notice when you are no longer thinking moderately and when you may be causing your life to be less than fulfilled and even constrained by your magical thinking.

Photo Credit: Joe Joe DuBrul