General Anxiety Disorder - Panic Attacks - Generalized Depression

2. Negative Thinking

Where do negative thoughts come from?

Negative thoughts mainly come from other people from years of reinforcement. They are implanted in our brains by people repeating them. “I cannot do that”, “its so embarrassing i would feel like a fool”, “they look so silly wearing that”.

Before people implanted these negative thoughts in our brains we never had this problem. If you look at a young child they have no fears and no existing opinions on how things should be they simply breeze through life without a care in the world. Unfortunately over time they are trained into thinking a certain way and while this is good for critical tasks “don’t touch the cooker its hot” we also learn bad approaches to situations that cause us more stress than if we looked at it a different way. This is where an intervention is required to take notice of the negative thoughts, dispel them and restore the original solution that works.

Why does anxiousnes start before we even enter a particualar situation? Its because we expect things to be bad even before we start, and it stems from deep within our brain. This is because at some stage in our lives we have entered a situation and experienced a large amount of anxiety. Through this learning situation its has become engrained in our brain of how it has made us feel and how we reacted to the situation. Over time when this type of situation reoccurs it reenforces these thoughts and feelings to a point that we dread ever going into these situations, and this is where the fear stems from. Some people live with the fear and some people avoid these situations completely.

Its just like a person that has a fear of clowns. To you and I that seems ridicilous but to the person the fear is so real that they avoid the situation. How would you help this person overcome their fear? You can tell them anything you want about how there is nothing to fear, but unless you bring them through real life repeditive therapy of being in the company of a clown then they will never come to terms with their fear.

Try this yourself:

Over the next few weeks I want you to become more aware of your negative thought process. Initially this was very hard for me because a lot of these thoughts happen subconciously, but when you enter a situation that normally makes you stressed you will start to take note of what is happening.

Example:

I am about to meet a friend that I havent seen in a while. The first negative thoughts I had were “what am I going to say”,”what if my mind goes blank and the conversation is awkward”,”im going to make a fool of myself”.

This is the start of becoming aware of negative thoughts. The reality is that before any of these thoughts were implanted in my brain, I was a very positive person. I learned these negative thoughts through different situations in life, and I can just as easily unlearn them.

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