What is the Danger of Negative Thoughts and Feelings?
In the past I have covered the power of our words and the power in positive thinking. However, today I would like to talk about the opposite end of the spectrum. Negativity is something we can find everywhere we look. The news, the media, and the gossip in our social environments. It really is everywhere. With that in mind, it is so challenging to rise above all of this and look for the good. Perhaps that is why my post on positive thought resonated so well with readers. Negativity, though, can have some profound effects on us as individuals. Then by extension it can have an unfortunate impact on our family, friends, and co-workers.
Negative Thoughts and a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?
The phrase “self-fulfilling prophecy” is a term used in psychology and sociology. It refers to a condition that is false but the beliefs or perceptions of an individual make them true. In other words, someone that walks around all day saying “my life sucks,” will focus on the results that will make this an accurate statement.
Some of the downsides to Negativity:
- You are just not a fun person to be around. (-Social)
- Lack of focus (-Productivity)
- Lack of faith in your own ability (-Productivity)
- Fighting with friends and family (-Social)
Those are clearly just my opinion, right?
The truth is, there is some science behind it. Dr. Jacobson points out that we are our own worst enemy when it comes to this. We, as a race are pre-programmed to have an infatuation with the negative. It is not uncommon for us to refer to situations similar to a car accident, in the sense that we cannot seem to look away from it. Negative thoughts have a habit of inspiring more negative thought. Another issue is that we are so used to our negative thinking that we don’t even notice when we are doing it.
Why are we programmed this way?
Well, I cannot say for sure, but he seems to think that it is a defense mechanism. You may already know this, but when things don’t go the way we anticipated and we must accept failure, it bums us out. By assuming up-front that we are probably not going to be successful, we soften the blow to our self-esteem.
But what can be done about it?
The good doctor states that we must work to become more in tune with the thoughts and language we use in our minds and even in our daily life. Only through recognizing the messages that they carry, can we hope to change. He further states it so perfectly when he mentions “We are the masters of our fate, whether we allow our fear or our optimism to propel us forward.”
Life’s Hard SometimesKeep your negative thoughts in check, and you’ll find yourself better equipped to handle things as they come.