Is it time to help your teenage daughter make peace with uncertainty?
Perhaps she tends to:
- Overthink difficult situations
- Put her bad experiences on repeat
- Allow her inner critic to take center stage
The first step is to help your daughter understand that it’s NOT HER FAULT when everything feels like a complete and utter disaster.
Let’s introduce her to the theory that’s causing her to ruminate on what’s going wrong for her.
It’s called Negativity Bias.
Think of it this way …
- 10 things happen during the day for your daughter
- 5 of those things are positive
- 4 are neutral
- 1 is crappy
What happens in her mind when she puts her head on the pillow at night?
You guessed it!
She starts thinking about the ONE NEGATIVE THING that happened.
The research tells us, “It’s your brain’s negativity bias that makes you do things like hold long-term grudges or pay more attention to bad news” because “your brain is simply built with a greater sensitivity to unpleasant news.”*
The hard part – is when your daughter replays her crappy stories over and over, she starts to feel powerless and stuck.
However – if she practices these antidotes, she’s going to find some much needed peace of mind.
Invite your daughter to:
Pay attention to the small stuff
At bedtime, rather than allowing the mind to focus on what didn’t go her way:
Encourage your daughter to recall 5 things (big or little) that were funny, that she’s grateful for, proud of, or happy she tried.
Focus on courage over fear.
Take a Snapshot
Next, take a snapshot of that moment in time:
Ask your daughter to hold on to her vision for 5 seconds.
Repetition is the key in this exercise.
Chase your WHY
Now, get curious about WHY she’s responding the way she is:
Invite her to answer these 5 questions …
- What are you saying to yourself to create this positive feeling?
- Who or what has helped you in this situation?
- What else do you want to happen for you?
- What skills are helping guide you?
- What do you want more of?
Remember, uncertainty is part of life.
But it doesn’t have to make your daughter feel powerless.
These antidotes are activating your daughter’s emotional agility and emotional intelligence and the more she practices, the easier it will be to counteract her negativity bias.
We’re all in this together – please share this article with someone who might benefit from these tips right now.
We’d love to hear from you – what helps your daughter stay centered when negative thoughts pop up?
*Article: “Bad News Isn’t Everywhere – That’s Just Your Negativity Bias At Work
Published May 9, 2017
Written by Curiosity Staff / Curiosity.com