• Robyn Isman, LICSW

Breaking the worry cycle

Our brains are meaning making machines. What this means is that we are unconsciously taking in everything and making meaning out of the small and the big. This could be a perceived look on someone’s face, a persons tone, a text or email. It could be a lull in a friendship, or an extended unemployment. Whatever is going on in our lives, our brains make meaning out of these things by tying them together and creating a story, a narrative. Human brains tend towards the negative and we have to work to lean positive. The negative nature of our brain is evolutionary because we evolved to survive. (More on this in another post!) So our narratives are not necessarily based on facts and they often don’t serve us. This is not meant to invalidate feelings, but to entertain the idea that there might be other (less negative) possibilities. If we can interrupt the narrative and question it, we can start to build a new, more helpful narrative. The three questions above are my own go to questions when I find myself in a negative narrative. Give it a try the next time you find yourself assuming the worst.

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