Thoughts feed the mind with what to do, how to act, what to say, and how to react. Thoughts do not enter the mind one at a time. They seem to randomly pop up in your mind from nowhere. Thus, monitoring these thoughts is just but necessary in order to keep it within control.
In the process of understanding thoughts, two types of mental attitudes are also demonstrated: positive and negative thinking. Both of these mental processes are rooted from various reasons and causes. Since negative thoughts seem to come effortlessly at an individual’s mind, this article will focus on the causes of negative thinking or what makes people think negatively.
Growing Up Years of the Individual
The formation stage of an individual’s life from childhood years to maturity level has a huge impact on mind conditioning. Although transformations occur as a person grows, the early formative years are very critical and influential to the thinking processes of an individual.
The family and society are two major influential agents of change of an individual. If the person’s exposure is that of unpleasant events and situations, these negative memories are inculcated in the mind of the individual and the mind is conditioned to view things primarily on a negative light. As the person grows and matures, self-esteem and assertiveness are not boosted well enough. Yet, there are those who are able to recover from a really low level of self-confidence brought about by negative memories of the past.
If you realized later in life that you are more of a pessimistic kind of person, try looking back and see if your family or friends or even the of society you grew up in have contributed to inculcating negativity in the way you perceive things. There are those who grew up in an atmosphere in which the usual exchange of statements in conversations involves negative statements and harsh words. With a set-up like that since childhood, the person will be bound to think that the world is a cruel one to live in. Also, those people will tend to manifest a similar manner of thinking upon growing up.
Depressing and Traumatic Life Incidents
Another cause of negative thinking is the traumatic life experiences that a person goes through. If such an event triggers depression, the person easily associates it with any negative thought. Flashbacks of those distressing experiences only bring unpleasant pictures in the mind and would then remind the person of the unfortunate series of events that happened. For example, if you have been through a very tough situation in life before with barely nothing to use for survival, the way you view life may be that of a complete misfortune. You start feeling hatred and worthlessness because of your situation. Then, you eventually get yourself trapped into negativity, believing that nothing good will occur in your life anymore.
Negative Thinking Patterns
Another culprit for low self-confidence due to negativity is the negative thinking patterns that happen to every individual. There are many of these types of cognitive distortions, which may be consciously or unconsciously demonstrated by people. At times, you will only realize that you have been following patterns of negative thinking because others will let you know. They will know because it would definitely show in your actions, choice of words, and non-verbal cues or expressions.
One example of it is forecasting a future incident to be a failure or a total mess even before it has happened. It is closely similar to making false assumptions of the outcome of your own actions, a situation, or that of other people’s doings. When you pre-judge others for their actions as well, you are actually developing a pattern of a negative mental attitude. Seeing only the negative aspects of a situation or focusing only on the weaknesses and failures of other people is also an example of a cognitive distortion.
Negative thinking weakens not only the mind but also the heart. Once negative thoughts creep into every nerve of your system, it also affects your conviction and your emotions. You must be keen at finding out what causes you to think negatively and then learn how to overcome it.