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NEGATIVE MINDSET: An obstacle to change, growth and mental health

We have a natural tendency to think negatively, therefore we tend to assume the worst. Any potential threat to our continued existence and sense of well-being receives increased mental processing power.

Do any of these ring true with what you've gone through?

Negativity bias is a term for this evolutionary adaption that has helped humans survive throughout history. It helped us weather the storm, but it's easy to become used to having it on and hard to stop.

It's a vicious loop since we're programmed to always assume the worst and then be convinced we were right when it actually happened. We humans may not be able to alter the course of events, but we are in charge of our responses.

Anxiety and dread are long-standing antagonists that reinforce one another. The primitive neural stress response system from which they evolved was designed to arm the body to deal with any perceived threat.

However, if we are aware of our preoccupying ideas, we can choose to focus on anything else. This is because our neocortex (or mind currency) tells us a story that sustains our anxiety through mental repetition.

That the same mind that can think negatively can also think positively is interesting to consider. It's all a matter of choose what to pay attention to. And get the hang of doing it on purpose.

Mind projects non-material occurrences known as thoughts onto the mind, and they are not harmful. When we give them weight or focus on them, they might take us down a dangerous path.

Lack of sleep, heredity, poor diet, disease, substance and alcohol misuse, and a low feeling of self-esteem are all documented contributors to anxious thinking.

Sometimes outside influences can increase our propensity for worry and sorrow. Depressive mood manifested by a wide range of somatic and affective symptoms lasting more than two weeks.

Shakespeare said it best: "The mind is its own place; it can create Heaven from Hell and Hell from Heaven."

Thoughts might distort reality if you're feeling anxious or unsettled in your mind. Recognizing this, rather than giving in to negative emotions, is crucial.

Instead of dreading or anticipating the worst, we can prepare for better outcomes in life by shifting our perspective and taking action.

By doing so, rather than limiting or punishing ourselves, we are instead expanding our horizons.

Because of this, self-compassion, for example, has been demonstrated to boost self-esteem, leading to wiser choices.

You may also try visualizing how you would console a close friend, relative, or coworker if they were going through the same thing. The more you do this on purpose and with consistency, the more it changes how you see the world and how you interact with the people in it, which in turn changes how you see your own circumstances.

We can overcome our fears by shifting our attention away from the future and onto the present now, where our bodies are. As we sit quietly, we focus on the rise and fall of our breath. That's the practice of awareness, also called meditation.

Taking this step by step will help the nervous system relax even more. Meditation on the breath is the most tried-and-true method. Negative thoughts cloud judgment and prevent us from acting in a reasonable manner.

The trick is to switch our bodies from a state of stress to one of relaxation. Anxious thoughts are like a sumo opponent; we can't hope to win a logical debate with them since they are so powerful.

What if we could learn to accept our thoughts without adopting the story they support, no matter how strong they are?

It's believable if we can accept our thoughts from a point of non-resistance, which then gives us the strength to channel our inner struggle towards our ultimate good. Keeping a journal is an effective method of recording our thoughts and reflecting on the patterns they reveal.

Mental health
Journal writing

Sometimes our minds work so fast that the thoughts we have are so fleeting that we don't have time to process them. Journaling, on the other hand, can help us learn more about the nature of our thoughts so that they no longer disrupt our life.

Anxiety can be overcome with study, self-awareness, and calculated action in the vast majority of cases. Slowly but surely, we learn that our own reactions and the interpretations we ascribe to external circumstances are the underlying culprits behind our poor mental states.

Given this, I'd like you to examine the spheres of your life where you've maintained a pessimistic outlook. How do you turn the mental switch and start thinking in a more positive light?

Ignoring the worst-case scenario can help you discover happiness and fulfillment in the present moment.

To start, let's recommit ourselves to changing our minds and keeping up this new image. In the end, we'll see that the phantom threat was never anything more than a tale conjured up by a weak mind.

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