Negative fantasizing. It’s when you’re carrying your newborn down the stairs and the image of accidentally whacking its head on the banister is so clear you swear it just happened. It’s when you’re picturing your upcoming job interview and realize you’ve stopped breathing as you vividly imagine tripping and wiping out in front of the CEO. It’s when the babysitter’s put you to bed and within five minutes you’re in tears, having imagined every detail of your parents’ car accident and your sad life as an unloved orphan. We tend to be really good at negatively fantasizing – our fears need a voice. But when that voice gets really loud we almost forget that it didn’t actually happen. We have an emotional and often physiological response to a strong fantasy whether it ‘s pleasant or unpleasant, and that response gets tucked away like a memory. We’ve got enough unpleasant real memories, why add fake ones? When you find yourself negative fantasizing, immediately stop and replace it with a fantasy that’s more realistic (or downright positive!). Remember, the more you practice this way of thinking the easier it gets.

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