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I’m thinking about bad things all the time…

Dear Psychologies.Today!

I have a problem. I’m thinking about bad things all the time as if they were real, about tragic events like they have already happened. I can’t get negative thoughts out of my head and focus on the good ones. My mom also taught me that I shouldn’t think about good things, otherwise they won’t come true. My sleep has worsened, I’m in a bad mood and grumbling all the time. Now my heart is often aching and I have to take sedative pills.


Dear Katerina!

You’ve described a common problem!

There is an inner world and an outer world.

The outer (or real) world has its own laws. They are logical and consistent. And we constantly face the consequences of these laws. For example, if you do not wear a scarf, you can get sick. If you go to bed late, it will be difficult to get up in the morning. In the outer world, of course, things are not always go well. And you cannot hide from reality.

However, in our fictional world the rules are completely different. They are illogical. You predict the consequences of the situation, and it seems to you that it has already happened in reality.

Allow yourself to imagine different outcomes, but remind yourself that this is only a prediction. Remind yourself that this is a Plan B and that you are thinking about the ways you can deal with tragic circumstances. Thinking about the worst possible outcomes could be a productive strategy, because you can minimize negative consequences of your life choices and circumstances. And this could be a calming practice, because you’ll know that if something bad happen to you, everything would be fine.

Of course, thoughts can program our success or failure. However, they have no real power over events. Otherwise, if we just wish, we’ll become healthy, happy and rich.

Negative thoughts can become a cognitive chewing gum. And you can resist them by switching to other, unfamiliar activities. Try to reload your brain and hands with puzzles, solving small quizzes or with creativity.

But, if you’re drowning in negative thoughts and you can’t stop them, try these emergency tricks:

1. Feel the root of your tongue.

Try to catch and concentrate on this sensation.

2. Activate the Adult ego-state.

For this purpose you should try to remind yourself some “adult” information: your full name, how old are you, what school you graduate from, recollect India’s location and it’s capital, how much will be 9×7, or the Pythagorean theorem etc. In other words, your task is to force your brain to think by taking small steps.

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Нина Борисова
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