Why is it we remember, replay, and make up new stories about events in our lives when we felt terrible? Ask someone to tell you about a time they got their feelings hurt and they will readily come up with an event. Ask someone when the last time they felt free, successful, happy and they hesitate and qualify that moment with “Why? It was no big deal." But, anger, shame, and feeling demeaned…now that was a big Deal. It's like stepping on a land mine. You never forget it and could be permanently scarred by it.

There is nothing wrong with us. It's not because we're holding on to the past (well, maybe we are). It's because we feel negative emotions more intensely than positive emotions. Evolution gives us the skills to look for danger and the sense to avoid them (we still have free will). Our ancestors learned which berries to eat and which ones would make them sick. One experience of eating the wrong berries gives us a lesson we don't forget. However, some of our ancestors learned how to scare their children about eating all berries or else they would die or face shameful punishment.

If you eat poisonous berries once, you can recover. But if we step on a land mine of negative situations every day… abusive language for example, we are not easily able to recover from them. And, it sets up a negative thinking pattern that makes us think, “Every day is awful. Those people are scary.” and permeates the day every day. You need a break. You need a change.

If you would like help with breaking your negative thinking pattern, you can schedule a free consultation with me at https://patriciabrawleyphdlpc.fullslate.com/.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Patricia Brawley maintains a therapy and consulting practice and is a university professor. She has always been deeply interested in mind-body interaction, health psychology, creativity, consciousness and dreams. She is strongly influenced by mindfulness meditation practice, Buddhist philosophy, yoga, and humanistic values and beliefs.

Dr. Brawley is an independent scholar and researcher with an interest in phenomenological thought and methodology. She has presented professional papers at national and international conferences across the United States, Canada, Japan, Italy, Finland, and Russia.

She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals, American Mental Health Counselors Association, the Mississippi Licensed Professional Counselors Association, the Mississippi Counselors Association, the Mississippi Psychological Association and the International Human Science Research organization.

Dr. Brawley, a published author, enjoys writing and leading writing groups. She lives in McComb, Mississippi with her husband and cats, Kwan Yin, and Goldilocks.