“Why is this happening to me?” “Why can’t I do anything right?” When something stressful happens to you – you miss your train by seconds, you lose your wallet or your child gets sick on the day of an important meeting – these kind of rhetorical questions tend to pop up in your mind. … Read more >
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you find yourself struggling to make it through the day. And that’s nothing to be ashamed about – frustration, sadness and despair are a natural and inevitable part of life.
But if you could use a little pick-me-up, soak up these words of wisdom from beloved authors and word leaders to help you get through the tough times.
“Don’t take pictures mama – push my swing?“, my two-year old quietly asked when we were visiting the playground recently. Now I had given her my undivided attention all morning until that point. Still, my daughter’s message hit home: stop looking at your screen and enjoy what’s happening right in front of you. Experience … Read more >
Thoughts pop up in our heads all day long, uninvitedly.
It happens so automatically that we rarely take the time to wonder if what we’re thinking is actually true. Instead, we take our thoughts at face value and instantly respond with feelings and actions. But when your inner critic or negative Nancy is taking over your mind, it’s time to take back control and change your thought patterns.
Because thoughts are powerful. They influence your mood, your decisions and even your neurobiology. Every time you have a thought (“Oh god, everybody is staring at me!“), your brain releases neurotransmitters and hormones that prepare your body and mind to respond to the (imaginary) situation – by blushing, stumbling, running off or making a self-deprecating joke.
That’s why automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) take a toll on your mental health: they trigger a cascade of biochemical reactions and emotions that adversely affect how you feel and behave.
“God, I’m such a loser for blowing that presentation. What must my colleagues think of me?”
“It’s not fair! Why did he do that to me?”
We’ve all been there. In your mind, you keep going over that argument with your friend or the stupid mistake you made, thinking about what you should have done differently.
You try to make sense of the confusing or upsetting situation by meticulously thinking it through. And normally, that kind of reflection can give you new insights, help you learn and improve, so it won’t happen a second time. But when rehashing the negative experience takes over your thoughts, like a broken record that plays the same lyrics again and again, it becomes a serious risk for your health and happiness.