Negative Thoughts

Hello Everyone!  We will continue with our series centered on the Love Dare this week, but before that……

I spent 17 hours driving on Friday.  It gave me some well-needed time in my thoughts.  I thought about the difficulty we all have seeing the good in our wives, children and well….life in general.  I did a little research over the weekend.

Ever thought about why negative thoughts can consume our heart preventing us from being able to see the good in our marriages?

Negative experiences stick in our heads and memories like Velcro – they make a bigger and more lasting impact than positive ones.  Don’t worry….it is just you.  It is a real thing.  It is called cognitive distortion (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/turning-straw-gold/201409/how-distorted-thinking-increases-stress-and-anxiety)

But here’s what’s cool: When we pray or meditate, we can literally overcome this negative perception pattern and increase empathy for others – our brain actually changes and we have greater empathy for others, as if we are experiencing those same feelings.

Being influenced by cognitive distortions helps create what Robert Weiss and marriage guru Dr. John Gottman call, “negative sentiment over-ride,” where we literally don’t even SEE the good things that happen, and we miss things like compliments from others and positive interactions. We mis-interpret another person’s nonverbal cues in the most negative way possible.

Shouldn’t we check our perceptions BEFORE we react?  Did our spouse really mean to say that?  Could we ask them what their intention was?  Couldn’t we find something every day to be grateful for about our wives?

“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the springs of life” – Proverbs 4:23

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