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happen or that events can turn out for the best. Negative thinking, if left unchecked, can create a spiral of unhelpful thoughts and difficult feelings. Even when good things happen, negative thinkers tend to see the negative aspects of a situation. Negative thinking patterns then,

narrow and reduce your options and opportunities and convince you that you have little choice or control over your circumstances. And if, for exam- ple, that’s what you need to get you revising for that exam, it’s a good thing! But negative thoughts can be limiting and unhelpful. Tey can overwhelm you and trigger further unhelpful thoughts and reactions. If you think things are mostly good,

you’ll notice opportunities and good things in a situation. If, though, you think life is difficult, you will find obstacles and difficulties.

Your explanatory style

Because the way you think is habitual you usually don’t even recognise the nature of your thoughts and reactions to events. In fact, your thoughts are so powerful because you rarely have con- scious awareness or control over them. Your mind simply accepts everything it’s ‘told’ and you respond accordingly. As we go about our daily life, our minds are continually thinking; interpreting and assessing our experiences, events and situations. But our brains have a limited ability to

process everything that’s going on. To make sense of what’s going on, we’ve each developed an ‘explanatory style’. Tis means that when something happens, has happened or is going to happen, your brain makes sense of it in a way that fits with your usual way of understanding events. If you’re more inclined to think

negatively, your brain will automatically interpret events in these negative ways. On the other hand, if you’re more inclined to positive thinking, your brain will interpret and make sense of events in positive ways. And, whichever way you’re inclined to think, each time you do, you reinforce that particular way of thinking, interpreting and explaining things. Your ways of

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