Three duck rules for mental health.

Three duck rules for mental health.

1. Duck and gaslighting. The duck test (reality check). 

This rule sounds like this: "if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it is probably a duck." This rule helps establish a fact based on our direct observations and indirect evidence. Sometimes the rule sounds like "maybe he talks like an idiot (abuser, fascist, manipulator, etc.) and looks like an idiot, behaves like an idiot. But you shouldn't be fooled: he really is an idiot." The duck test helps us trust ourselves and be capable of independent judgment despite verbal manipulations – this is an important skill. 

After all, nowadays, the weapon of propaganda, abusers, and criminals is gaslighting. The essence of gaslighting is an attack through denying your conclusions manipulation to undermine the sense of reality and one's own adequacy. It includes 

attack (are you in your right mind? Are you sick? What's wrong with you? You are not adequate), denial (that didn't happen, I didn't do or say that, it's a joke, not an insult), 

accusation (you made it all up yourself, twisting words, I meant well but you're offended), 

devaluation (your thoughts and feelings are false, you don't see things correctly), manipulation with guilt (I meant well but you're ungrateful or pity me), 

self-justification (it's not my fault, I was provoked),

 inconsistency between words and actions. 


If you feel like you're being made to feel insane, that you can't trust yourself, guilty, constantly justify yourself, constantly criticized, if you feel like you don't understand reality adequately – you are being gaslit. Look at the duck. The duck says – believe in observable actions, be rebellious, drive it away, doubt the attacker, and trust yourself.

2. Rubber duck debugging. 

When your mind is filled with a stream of complex, tangled thoughts, turn to the rubber duck, place it on your desk, and ask it as a mental assistant. Sherlock Holmes, however, preferred to converse with a skull. Formulate the question and pause – this helps organize thoughts in clear language. After all, the duck is cute and needs a very simple and clear explanation, as if to a child. Remembering Feynman's words, "if you're a scientist, a quantum physicist, and can't explain in two words to a five-year-old what you do, you're a charlatan." So ask the duck, explain to the duck – it works.

3. Cuteness and stress. 

The duckling has typical features of cuteness: big eyes, arched eyebrows, a small chin, a round face, a small nose, plump lips, and chubby cheeks – all these factors have a very strong and very fast impact on our brain. Cuteness stimulates the release of dopamine, empathy, and prosocial behavior, reduces stress and productivity, lowers anxiety and blood pressure, and increases alertness and oxytocin level. So, watching videos with puppies, kittens, and babies can work. Direct the desire to care towards caring for yourself.