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Hard-Wired to be Negative - Go Against Human Nature

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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Hard-Wired to be Negative - Go Against Human Nature

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hard-Wired to be Negative - Go Against Human Nature

When I woke up this morning, this quote was just sitting there, in my head, something along the lines of most of the stuff we worry about never happens. I think it's a quote from Mark Twain. Isn't it true though? So I just did some research. We have about 60,000 thoughts a day, which comes out to one thought about every second while we are awake. Of those 60,000 thoughts, close to 95% are the same thoughts we had....yesterday...and the day before....and even before that! And guess what? Most of them are negative! Is our brain wired to automatically think negative thoughts? Is this something that maybe helped our ancestors survive? What about now? Let's look into it then.

Think about some of the things you think about during the day. I know as a mom, I consider myself a worry wart. I am always wondering "what if" and worry about my kids' well being. It's as if I can't control it. Instead of thinking about all the wonderful things they must be doing today, I am thinking about all the things they are doing to get in trouble or things that may hurt them!

What about all those times you interact with other people? Strangers, friends and family. Rack your brain right now and think about some of the things that were said...the negative thoughts pop right out don't they? Did someone criticize your work or something you were wearing or something that you did? I bet someone did give you a complement somewhere in there....again on something you did or something you were wearing....but you just don't remember it, do you? Or it doesn't immediately come to mind.

Do you know it is possible not to dwell on the negative? Do you know dwelling on the negative could have adverse effects on your health? Negativity could get bad enough to cause you to sink into depression or can even give you anxiety issues that would preclude you from behaving somewhat normally. Who wants another medical condition they have to treat or take care of? I know I don't.

So, I've vowed....from today forward....to catch those negative thoughts AS I think of them. I will realize it is a negative thought...and immediately see if there is another way of looking at it. For example, instead of worrying about my husband on his next deployment....I've worried myself sick in the past, and that is not an understatement.....I am going to be thinking about some of the POSITIVE things that he is doing while he is there. I am going to talk to my husband ahead of time, and get a feel for what he will be accomplishing there within the realm of not revealing classified or sensitive data. Your husband can tell you, basically anyway, what he will be doing. When those negative thoughts then enter your brain, you can flip the switch and start thinking of those children who will be safe on their way to school now, or the new programs and ideas your husband is bringing with him....move the thinking in another direction.

Granted, we will continue to have negative thoughts....but at least now, if you are aware of them, you can realize what you are doing. Awareness is the key here. After you complete this exercise for a few days, you will realize you are a happier and healthier person. It just seems to work out that way.

You might want to check out these resources too:

20 Simple Tips to Overcome Negative Thoughts

Stop Negative Thoughts

How to Squash Negative Thought Patterns

Do you have anything to add?

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Commiserating or…?

Commiserating: I wonder whether excessive negative self-talk leads to experiencing many more negative conversations/chats or are they just accidental. Even in casual interactions, is it possible that someone’s posture and face expression invite people to dumping problems that were bugging them, kind of being ‘a crap magnet’.

Or: maybe it is a subconscious match between ‘users’ (= people instigating negative talk) and ‘givers’ (=someone who can listen and empathize & advise).

September 14, 2008 at 5:26 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Crap magnet..I have got to remember that phrase! Interesting additional point...

September 14, 2008 at 6:07 PM  

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