1 MORE WAY TO QUIET THE NEGATIVE VOICES INSIDE YOU
It’s Sunday, and I want to remind you of another effective
method for quieting that negative inner voice of yours. But first, let’s
examine a super-common mistake negative people make…
Negative people are often proud to describe themselves as “realists.” Of course, anyone who holds a strong belief thinks they are being “realistic” by holding it, whether it involves UFO encounters or perfectly truthful politicians.
The “being more realistic” declaration is a favorite of cynics everywhere. And in a way they are correct. But only because negative thinking causes us not to try – or if we do try, to do it half-heartedly and give up sooner – so the negativity itself influences our outcomes. Self-fulfilling predictions like this really do happen. Research has even found that in some cases what we believe about our health can have more bearing on how long we live than our actual health.
What makes all of this so scary is the fact that it means negative thoughts can plague us even when things seem to be going relatively well. For instance, the thought “It’s too good to last!” quickly wrecks havoc on a positive situation. Thus, my tip today has to do with how negative thinking can distort your perception…
Stop yourself from over-generalizing the negative (and minimizing the positive).
Ask yourself: “If something negative unexpectedly happens, do I over-generalize it? Do I view it as applying to everything and being permanent rather than compartmentalizing it to one place and time?”
For example, if someone turns you down for a date, do you spread the negativity beyond that person, time, and place by telling yourself: “Relationships never work out for me, ever”? If you fail an exam do you say to yourself, “Well, I failed that exam; I’m not happy about it, but I’ll study harder next time”? Or do you over-generalize it by telling yourself you’re “not smart enough” or “incapable of learning”?
Remember, negative thinking stops us from seeing and experiencing positive outcomes, even when they happen often. It’s as if there’s a special mental block filtering out all the positives and only letting in data that confirms the ‘negative bias.’ So, do your best to catch yourself today.
Being able to distinguish between the negativity you imagine and what is actually happening in your life is an important step towards living a happier life.
And of course, if you’re struggling with any of this, know that you are not alone. Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and get our lives back on track.