Negative Thinking (and What to Do About It)
Once the negative thoughts start, they’re hard to stop.
One minute you’re worrying about something small that might go wrong… and the next, you can’t stop thinking the worst.
This spiral goes on and on, leaving you feeling out of control and fearing the future. Your chances of success feel slim.
Why does this happen, and what can you do to stop thinking negatively?
Let’s take a look at what happens in your brain to cause this frustrating pattern.
Why your Brain is so Negative
The limbic system of your brain is what we can call your “hot system”. Its priority is keeping you safe from harm.
The way that that your brain’s hot system keeps you safe is by scanning the environment for evidence that you might be in danger.
If your hot system decides it thinks you’re in a dangerous situation, it triggers an automatic reaction to get you back to safety.
To do this, it activates a fear response, and sends you into fight or flight mode, telling you that a) this situation is unsafe, and b) you should deal with it by either attacking it or avoiding it.
This can be a really helpful system when you’re in a situation where you could get physically injured.
For example, you might slam on the breaks while driving to avoid an accident or, on a smaller level, duck out of the way when you almost walk into something so you don’t bump your head.