I can hear you saying, “Who is this crazy lady? Does she really believe negative thinking is good for you? And she calls herself a psychotherapist. Doesn’t she know that you need to think positively, not negatively, to have a good life and be less depressed? Is she ignoring all the latest research?”
Maybe. On the other hand why does the brain most often seem to come up with negative thoughts as soon as something happens? Even often when something good happens? Is there a reason why our brains were created that way?
Yes, there is a reason. Remember when all those “lions and tigers and bears, oh my” roamed the earth looking for dinner and our ancestors happened to be high on their list of foods? I can only imagine what would have happened to our species if the first thoughts humans would have had was, “Oh what a nice tiger is coming to greet me. I’ll make friends with him.”
“Okay,” you say. “Those were the bad old days. But why could they help us now?” What do you think would happen if our inner voice did not alert us to situations that occur every day in our lives? When we hear the negative voices inside warning us of possible danger it triggers us to make clearer more thought out decisions. We can look at the possible negative and also the possible positive consequences and come up with a rational decision.
For an example, the other day I received a call from an American company that wanted to buy some property from me that my husband and I had bought some time ago in Mexico. They had someone who was very interested in buying it for $45,000. My first thought was, “Are you crazy?” But then my positive voice came in. “Great. This is an answer to prayer. It is exactly what I need to help me through the next years. Especially to help me market my new book “How to Cope with Stress after Trauma” for veterans and families. If I had listened only to my positive thoughts I would have said yes to the proposition. But because my negative thoughts said, “All these guys want is your money,” I looked much more deeply into the situation and found it to be a clever scam.
So don’t forget, some of those negative thoughts are there to help you survive and live a better life. Just examine them carefully to make sure what those thoughts are saying is true.
Check the 20 steps to recovery from stress, especially Step 3, Empower Yourself and Step 7, Change your Thinking in my book How to Cope with Stress after Trauma. Available on Amazon.