Our minds are incredibly complex and difficult to understand. They are involved with our feelings, emotions and thoughts. We depend on our mind operating efficiently but it is not perfect. Sometimes our minds allow negative thoughts to permeate our consciousness.
The effect of negative thinking on our lives can be immense. Negative thinking can upset our emotions/feelings. I think negative thoughts are a significant contributor to poor mental health.
Such thinking is probably fairly common and often stems from your mind using faulty thinking. In the world of psychology this is called ‘Distorted Thought Patterns.’ Research has led to the conclusion that there are many different types of these patterns and I would like to write about some of the more obvious ones (that I can understand!).
When we concentrate only on the negative aspects of a situation and filter out all the positive ones.
When we take an isolated event and conclude it has far reaching effects. For example if we fail our driving test we may conclude we will never pass it.
Jumping to Conclusions
When you make assumptions without establishing any facts. For example you may make an assumption about somebody without talking to them.
This is related to “Jumping to Conclusions”. It is selecting the worst possible scenario from a situation. Often linked to the phrase “What if”.
This is where you take on responsibility for a bad event that was out of your control. Harmful guilty feelings can result.
Blaming refers to making others responsible for how you feel. The distortion comes from believing others have more influence over your life than yourself.
Always being right
This desire turns into a cognitive distortion when it trumps everything else. And that includes evidence and other peoples feelings. You see your opinions as facts of life.
Years ago someone gave me a ‘Mind’ poem. I don’t know the author’s name but it seems very appropriate:
I took my mind for a walk
Then sat it down and had a talk
Mind, I said stop bothering me
With all your negativity
Look around there is so much
To do and see and feel and touch,
Sometimes mind you can be wrong
Please try to sing a happier song
And remember mind you’re strong and true
You’re clever and smart and I love you.
So help me to stay focused today
On all the good things coming my way
And tell my heart how awesome I can be
And love and cherish all of me.
So my conclusions are twofold. Firstly accept your mind is fantastic but also be aware it is not always right.