I was asked by an NPR reporter once why don't I talk about race that often. I said, 'It's because I'm a neurosurgeon.' And she thought that was a strange response... I said, 'You see, when I take someone to the operating room, I'm actually operating on the thing that makes them who they are. The skin doesn't make them who they are.'
The first principle of cognitive therapy is that all your moods are created by your 'cognitions,' or thoughts. A cognition refers to the way you look at things - your perceptions, mental attitudes, and beliefs. It includes the way you interpret things - what you say. about something or someone to yourself.