Negativity can be dangerous. When we are thinking, we are building neuro-pathways in our brain. The more often you think a negative thought, the more likely you will think more negative thoughts. It is as if you are building a habit in your brain – something happens and the go-to emotion is negative unless it is a clearly positive happening.
There are other options when something happens that isn’t necessarily positive. One way to stop developing the negative pathways in your brain is to respond constructively to situations. This means thoughts like:
- What am I learning from what is happening?
- What are my response options?
- Can I redirect my go-to negative reaction to, if not positive, at least neutral?
You can also shift your thinking by changing the thought, “Why is this happening to me? To “Why is this happening for me?” Although on the surface it seems a subtle change, in reality it is a huge paradigm shift.
When you think of something happening to you it is more of a victim mentality. If you think something is happening for you, it causes you to reflect.
- What is happening?
- What is a constructive message I can construe from the event?
- Is what is going on useful to me and if so, how?
- An open and curious mind when facing potentially negative events gives you the upper-hand. No event is a waste, all events have a possibility of learning within them.
So don’t keep re-enforcing negative pathways in your brain. Pause a moment and ask yourself some questions to see what you can pull from each event that may appear negative at the onset. Be constructive with your experiences no matter the immediate perceived value, negative or positive, and find a way to react that moves you forward and wiser.