My 8 year old son is worrier, what if there is a dog in the park, what if i get hit by a football in sport, what if it rains too much and we flood!! For a little brain so many negative thoughts and assumptions of what might happen are based on previous experience and what he sees on the T.V.
As humans our brains our hard wired to notice and store the negative experiences, thoughts and emotions so that if we come across a similar situation our brains quickly send messages that the same event will have the same affect and outcome. But this is not and doesn’t have to be the case if we choose to train our brains to notice the present and remind ourself of all the positive things that happen in our lives each day. If we do this studies suggest that we are less stressed, less anxious as we stop overthinking and we are a happier, calmer person for it.
So how do we do it? Taking a few minutes to be present each day by practising mindfulness trains our brains to recognise how we may have got into habit of negative thinking and over thinking. We only ever exist right now in the present – today and we have’t yet existed in the future. Whilst our minds like to make assumptions of what if this happens, what might happen if we follow these thoughts ,we may believe they are true. They are not true they are mere signals from your brain wanting you to stay connected to past experiences or negative emotions.
I ask my son and daughter on daily basis what good things happened today? They can easily recall the bad things but it takes longer to find a few good things. For most of us this is human nature. The good news is if we get into a habit of being present, noticing our thoughts, and reminding ourself of 3-5 things that we appreciate, were good or we feel grateful for in our day we train our brains to be more positive, we worry less we feel calmer , happier and even excited about what each new day may have in store for us.
If you are looking to worry less, talk through your worries with friends or family or a qualified professional as talking through your worries helps you see potential logical and rational ways to worry less. Be present in your day and use a journal or booklet to record positive thoughts everyday.
Life is short, we only ever live today, make each day a good day whenever you can.