What an annoying fact. Positive experiences count for less than negative ones.
It seems humans are wired up to focus on the negative while ignoring the positive. Such is the conclusion from one observation by Daniel Kahneman in his bestseller Thinking Fast and Slow
How irritating is that? But sadly it has the ring of truth and it sort of makes sense. To focus on danger and problems might keep us safe, while good things…well they dont need looking after. A recipe for unhappiness indeed!
So that means we have to do lots of positive things to weigh against the few negative things.
Lets get busy then.
How much time do we spend thinking about the future? Christmas is coming, plans are being made, holidays booked…or dreaded!
For the person suffering with anxiety the future is a place filled with awful events that they are convinced are going to happen. The mind has already mapped out the future and it’s not looking good.
Part of effective therapy is to wean the fearful client off the habit of the dreaded ‘what if’, the mindset that bullies you into trying to avoid all those things that might happen.
People are not stupid. They are aware of what could or might or even probably happen in the future and whatever you say as a therapist cannot change that fact. The ‘what if’ thoughts are possibilities and not facts. Dragging the client away from their habit of mistaking facts with possibilities can be a big task.
Ready to think differently about the future? Why not? It hasn’t happened yet…so you can think what you like!