What happens when some negative experience happens to you? What is your reaction to it? The common idea you may have is of negative feelings. But do you understand them clearly? Are you having strong negative thinking patterns? Whatever is your case but you should properly understand how this type of thinking emerges and how it can affect you. This article will cover all this.
But why you should bother about understanding it at all? Why not directly focus on the ways to eliminate negative thinking patterns? There is a strong reason behind this. In order to solve a problem you must first understand it properly, only then you can do something accurate and meaningful. Without the clear understanding, you will be more involved in a hit and trial method rather than some real solution.
I know it from my experience. When I realized that these negative thinking patterns are holding me back, I tried to eliminate them many times but didn’t get any significant result. The main reason behind this was my lack of clear understanding of the real problem.
But when I got to know how it emerges and affects me, I was able to make significant progress in overcoming it. That’s why I decided to write this article about understanding negative thinking patterns first. My next article will be about how to overcome these patterns.
The negative thinking patterns and their formation
Negative thinking patterns are simply the repeated indulgence of mind in the same type of negative thinking resulting from similar experiences. When you have a negative experience for the first time, it triggers corresponding negative thoughts and emotions. This lasts for some time and your mind comes to normal.
Again after some time the similar experience happens and brings you similar negative results. This time your mind will more readily catch the negativity and get into negative thinking. This process creates the base of negative thinking patterns.
The next time even at the start of any situation, if initial conditions resemble those of your past negative experiences, then your mind will start creating negative expectations beforehand. This starts to happen even when the process isn’t completed yet and you haven’t got any negative or positive result.
The negative thinking or expectations in the beginning of any situation create more possibility of actual happening of negative outcomes. This gives a kind of confirmation to your mind that what it expected initially was right.
This way a negative thinking pattern has been set. Every time you observe certain initial conditions to anything, which are similar to initial conditions of your past negative experiences, your mind will start working on the same negative thinking patterns. With every experience and time, these patterns become stronger.
Let me give you a practical example so that you can understand the process above explained. My friend, who was average at studies at high school level, once failed in mathematics exam. That day his preparation was not very good and question paper was very difficult. He lost his confidence and got nervous during the exam.
This way he wasn’t able to perform to his optimum level and failed. The same experience happened again and he got into negative thinking pattern. So whenever initial conditions were similar to his past experience, that is, his preparation was average and the paper was difficult, he assumed the failure beforehand. And many times it happened too.
On the other hand with his level of preparation, I was always able to pass the exams with average marks and he used to fail. This difference was because of the negative thinking patterns which got rooted in his mind.
Effects of negative thinking patterns
To understand more effectively negative thinking patterns, you should also know their effects. Knowing the effects of something makes you aware of whether to continue it or abolish it. So I am explaining the common effects of negative thinking patterns which will make you aware to get rid of them.
Note that the effects mentioned below are general and common to everyone, while there can also be other effects which vary from person to person.
Loss of confidence and enthusiasm
When your mind is dominated by negative thinking you don’t feel the confidence in your ability to succeed at anything. The negative thinking patterns force you again and again to expect failure in the end. This creates a total loss of enthusiasm. These conditions together create a mental barrier which resists anything positive into it.
Decrease in level of performance
It is obvious that your performance is going to be affected by your mental attitude. And when this mental attitude is negative, the effect is going to be the negative also. When you are involved in negative thinking, your performance is bound to suffer. You cannot help it.
Stress is the straight side effect of negative thinking. Recall how you were feeling when you were having those negative emotions in your mind. Stress is the cause of many other disorders and problems you may very well know.
Your productivity decreases
Productivity is the amount of work you get done in a given amount of time. For a high productivity, you need to have a stable, relaxed and stress-free mind. But when you are suffering from negativity in your mind you cannot have the conditions for the high productivity. So it is bound to decrease.
Effect on your behavior
You behave simply according to what you have in your mind. Your behavior reflects, one way or the other, what your mental state is. If you are feeling happy and cheerful, your behavior will reflect it. You will say positive things and smile more often. On the other hand, when you are fearful of something or have a negative expectation in your mind, it will again be shown by your conducts.
This is the effect many people aren’t aware of. As mentioned above, your behavior shows negativity present in your mind, it affects your relationships with other people too. When someone keeps on talking about negative things, I myself start feeling repulsion from them.
The same is the case with other people. When they listen to something negative, it has the tendency to affect their mind negatively too. Nobody wants to stay with a person who makes them feel negative. If you keep on talking about the possibility of loss and failure, you cannot have positive relationships.
This article was about understanding negative thinking patterns and their effects. My next post will be about how to get rid of them.
Recommended Reading – How to get rid of negative thinking patterns