Negative thinking can have a significant effect on how we react to certain situations.  It can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety that could lead to a full-blown panic attack.  Negative thoughts can cause chaos, deep sorrow, regret and shame in some situations.   

Negative Thinking – here is a fictional relationship scenario!

Julie and her boyfriend Luke have been together for eight years and have been living together for the past three.  They have a very loving, happy relationship and enjoy a good lifestyle.    Julie can sometimes be a bit possessive where Luke is concerned, but this has never caused any significant issues between them.

Julie has been asked by her boss to go out and buy some groceries for the office.  She has just entered the high street when she sees Luke with another woman going into a coffee shop. They are laughing and chatting.

Julie’s first thoughts are, ‘He’s cheating on me, after all, this time we’ve been together, how could he!’

She starts to feel sick and feels her hands and legs begin to tremble.  Her mind blanks entirely for a few minutes and then she becomes furious.  At this point, Julie is unable to see reason and is indeed out of control.  Her one thought of Luke ‘cheating’ was the trigger to her mental and physical feelings that lead to her future aggressive behaviour.

This is how Julie finally reacted because of her negative thinking…  

Julie is seething with anger storms into the coffee shop asking them both in a thunderous voice what they thought they were doing!  Luke is surprised to see her and certainly taken aback by her aggressive approach, he tries to calm her down by introducing his friend, but Julie is not listening to him.  In the end, the lady leaves embarrassed that people are looking at them.  Luke takes Julie outside mortified and shocked by her over the top aggressive behaviour.    An argument ensues on the street with Julie ending up in floods of tears and Luke storming off now really angry himself.  On returning to work, everyone in the office could see Julie is upset and has been crying.  Julie did not speak to any of her colleagues for the rest of the day and this caused Chinese whispers around the office.

This was the true situation…  

Luke was on his way to the bank when he bumped into one of his old university friends from five years ago. The lady is now married and has just moved into the town because of her husband’s new job.  Luke had asked her if she had time for a quick catch up over a coffee.   He was just about to ask the lady if she and her husband would like to meet up with him and Julie for drinks sometime when Julie aggressively confronted them.

Julie could have thought differently…  

I wonder who that is, perhaps a work colleague?  He’s bound to tell me later if he doesn’t I’ll ask him. We have a strong, loving relationship; I don’t think he would cheat on me, he is not that type he’s too honest about everything.   Although it has me thinking, I’m going to wait and see if he tells me, rather than me ask him.    Julie feels a bit concerned, she found it hard to concentrate on things at work but kept herself quiet and got on with her day.  There was no embarrassment, no argument, no one at work was any the wiser and no angry confrontation later when she went home to Luke.

Or Julie could have if, she had stopped to think rationally and stayed in control… 

Gone into the cafe, smiled and said, “I just caught sight of you when coming out of the shop.  I waved, but you didn’t see me.”

Luke would have then have introduced his friend and why they were in the cafe etc.  Julie’s mind would have been put to rest because there was no situation.

If Julie had not immediately put two and two together and come up with five, she would still have her loving relationship intact.  She would not have embarrassed herself, Luke or his friend.  There would have been no gossip-mongering at her workplace and, she still had to face Luke later that day. The worst outcome is that Julie’s relationship with Luke could be in serious jeopardy because of a negative thought.


1 – Stop and step back don’t act immediately!

2 – Pause.

3 – Take a breath, and notice your breath as you breathe slowly in through your nose and slowly out through your mouth.

4 – Observe! What am I thinking and feeling?

5 – Is this fact or opinion?

6 – Pull back – put in some perspective!

7 – See the situation as an outside observer.

8 – Is there another way of looking at it?

9 – Practice what works!

10 – Do what works and what helps.

11 – Will It be adequate and appropriate?

Not every one of these suggestions will be used, it all depends on the situation, event or thought.

When we think about things differently, it allows issues to be seen through a more transparent window and will change the reaction to dealing and coping with it.

Remember stop, breathe and think before acting!

© Life Coach You