“If I imagine the worst possible outcome, it won’t happen. (Or I won’t be disappointed if it does happen.)”
“If I hadn’t had that negative thought, I wouldn’t have attracted this bad day.”
“I’m not going to get too excited about this positive news. I might jinx it.”
What you just read are examples of what social scientists call superstitious thinking.
Pretty much everybody does some superstitious thinking from time to time. It’s just part of human nature. And let’s face it, isn’t anything worth a try when you’re facing all of that uncertainty? So indulging in some superstitious thinking can help us feel like there is something we can do to avoid the bad news that could be coming our way.
But superstitious thinking can have consequences that aren’t so helpful. Anticipating the worse may help you feel like you can prevent something really bad from happening, but can also make you feel more anxious while you wait for those test results. Trying to maintain absolute control over every thought that enters your mind is impossible, and only gives you a headache. And not letting yourself be happy when you have something to be happy about – as if your happiness will suddenly be snatched away – is kind of like punishing yourself, not to mention the people in your life who would like to share the good news with you.
I posted an article about this a couple of weeks ago: Here is a link:
What about you? Are you giving your thoughts too much power? And keeping yourself stuck in the process? I’d love to hear your experiences. And what you do to avoid superstitious thinking.
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