One skill that many happy people have honed is “cognitive reappraisal” – the ability to reframe our thoughts about a situation to help ourselves feel better. This tends to work great in certain scenarios where you have little control over the outcome of the events at hand. However, a recent study found that when it’s applied to situations that can be changed, you can end up feeling more stress and depression. Why? Because it could prevent people from taking action to fix a problem, says Allison Troy, assistant professor of psychology at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Imagine your relationship is on the rocks in part because of your irresponsible spending, if using cognitive reappraisal makes you feel like what you’re doing isn’t wrong, you may be less likely to learn to live within your budget. Take self-soothing too far and it could become destructive.
 Derived from Reader’s Digest 06-2014, page 40
Chris Bryant is an American financial advisor.