Last week we talked about the biology of fear and how your mind doesn’t differentiate between real threats and imagined threats – your body will react the same way to real threats as it does to threats you’re just thinking about. And we mentioned that what this meant for our dreams is that most of the fears we have that stand between us and our dreams are those imaginary ones – they’re a result of cognitive mistakes we’re making in how we think about the possible outcomes of going after our dreams.
And one of the biggest cognitive mistakes we make that affects our ability to build our dreams is that we so easily get ourselves caught up in something that I call negativity spiraling.
It’s All About the Snowball
If you’ve ever had one of those days where absolutely everything seems to be going wrong – where, by the time lunch hour hits, you’re just desperately wishing you’d never even gotten out of bed in the first place, you know what negativity spirals are all about. It’s that snowball effect that turns one bad experience into a whole bad day, or one fearful thought into an outright panic attack.Don't let one bad experience turn into a whole bad day! #mindset #successtips Click To Tweet
We all have days like that once in a while, and when they happen it’s hard not feel like the entire Universe is conspiring against you in some cruel campaign designed to make you as miserable as humanly possible. Unfortunately, that very feeling of victimization actually makes things worse and even perpetuates the chain of negative events unfolding around you.
When these “terrible, awful, no-good, very bad days” happen they are usually a result of our own thinking and, therefore, completely preventable. Hard to swallow, isn’t it? But what if it’s true? What if the way we think actually affects what happens to us over the course of a day, and, by extension, the course of our entire lives?
Choose Your Own Reality
What we focus on actually does become our reality. If we have a negative experience first thing in the morning and get all bent out of shape about it, focusing on it and getting angrier and more upset about it, we are conditioning ourselves to continue interpreting other events in a negative light as well.
And the bad mood will just continue to grow and colour our interpretation of still more events in a snowball effect of misery and gloom. We start looking for more things to support our view that this is a bad day and that everything sucks, and we find them. In effect, we design and custom-build our own bad day according to our own exacting specifications through the process of focusing on negativity and falling into a completely preventable negativity spiraling mind-trap.
photo credit: pixabay.com cc (modified by me)