As humans, researchers believe we’re primed for negative thinking as it’s part of our innate survival system (back in the day when we were dodging earthquakes and dinosaurs!). However, today’s dinosaurs come in the form of work, money, love, health and family, and some of this negative thinking may also come from childhood or early events in our life:
Perhaps growing up you often heard phrases such as:
“You’re always such a worrier”
“She’s just like me, always worrying”
As children, we can have such active imaginations but also, we haven’t developed enough emotional intelligence to rationalise life events as much as we would when we’re adults.
Often when I see clients, I am listening not only to what they are saying but what messages they are telling themselves. So, when someone comes in and tells me “but I’ve always been a worrier” I’ll ask them if they’d like me to get a T-shirt with that on for them, for if we keep telling ourselves that we’re a worrier, guess what … you’ll be a worrier!
I find this can also then extend into phrases such as "I'm so busy", "I'm so stressed" and even "I've never been a good sleeper", so much so that they end up defining us!
When you wake up first thing in the morning, you can decide either to make the day an ok day or a great day, for often our negative thoughts are not based on who we are but actually on our emotional state.
There are even people studying into the power of positive thinking, and one such study concluded that “when people open their hearts to positive emotions, they seed their own growth in ways that transform them for the better”.
Life coach Tony Robbins puts it simply as “Think of your mind, your emotions and your spirit as the ultimate garden. The way to ensure a bountiful, nourishing harvest is to plant seeds like love, warmth and appreciation — instead of seeds of disappointment, anger and fear.”
So next time you hear yourself say something negative, ask yourself what is a healthier statement that you could be telling yourself? For what our mind commands the body obeys. So, you can continue to tell yourself your stressed, anxious, worried … or you can stand a bit taller and tell yourself something much more loving and positive.
My T-shirt slogan? “PMA” (Positive Mental Attitude)