Negative Thinking: Breaking the Habit


I have a bad habit of always thinking the worst. This negative thinking habit played out the other day at work in a situation with a patient that was having difficulty after surgery.

My confidence has nothing to do with my skills as a nurse, it is more me second guessing what others think about me – feeling judgment that perhaps isn’t really there.

Do you have a negative thinking habit too? Follow along and see if you can relate…

The other day I had a lady who came out of the operating room and she was having breathing difficulties. It was touch and go for over 2 hours and was quite challenging.

At one point the patient’s son came into the area where I work This area is restricted and there is no admittance allowed. Apparently he ignored the signs and just walked in. He was shocked, of course to see his mother in distress. What I didn’t expect was for him to direct his outrage at me:

What did you do to her? Why is she like that?

Oh no.. Now I had to try to reassure this angry family member while simultaneously trying my best to prevent this patient from going into respiratory arrest. It was not an easy task, let me tell you.

More and more people were summoned to the room as is the case with a patient in distress- I had to call anesthesia, the surgeon, a respiratory therapist, and another physician.

The room quickly turned to chaos with everyone in there, and it was my job to coordinate the care and implement what everyone was telling me to do.

The patient’s son remained in the room and kept making negative remarks about what I was doing to her. It was inappropriate and disruptive. I have no idea why he singled me out, but that’s what it felt like. And it was hard to perform my job while being yelled at.

I asked the charge nurse and the surgeon to have the family member taken back to the waiting room so we could care for his mother. After awhile he left, but he kept coming back in. He was very angry, he broke one of the operating room doors.

So long story short, the patient did stabilize and I was inwardly very relieved of course. And proud too. I felt strange about the son’s comments and behavior however, thta left me feeling shaken. As I was getting ready to transport the now awake and alert lady to her room, my manager walked over to me and said:

Jill make sure you see me before you leave.

negative thinking
…and that’s when I panicked inwardly.

My negative thinking and negative self talk went into overdrive:

Great, now I’m going to be fired. Or I’m going to get reprimanded for something. Obviously the son blamed his mother’s condition on me and now I’m going to be punished. God, he wanted to kill me – even though I literally saved her from the worst! This sucks!!

I was freaking out.

After getting the lady set up in her room and reporting off to the receiving nurse and making double sure everything was good, I went back to my unit.

It felt like I was walking into a firing squad. I walked into the manager’s office on shaky legs…

You wanted to see me?(shaking)

Manager: “Yes… Are you able to stay late tonight? We need the help. Oh and good job on that last case.”

What??  I wasn’t fired? I wasn’t yelled at or told I did something wrong? What is this?

Wow.. I did do good. And it was recognized. I didn’t do anything wrong. I did everything right.

Thank you Lord.

Why do I still automatically react with fear and anxiety? Why do I still feel I’m being judged negatively by my peers? I know I’m a good nurse. But what is it that makes me doubt that others can’t see this?

I am a powerful, competent woman.

Have you ever had the experience of thinking the worse like this and then being (happily) proved wrong?

Note to self: It’s time to start believing in myself again. I need to buck up on doing my positive affirmations for anxiety. They work, I just haven’t been doing them.

Time to break this negative thinking habit once and for all. My self worth does not depend on what others think. And neither does yours!

I wish you peace,

Jill G.

Want to know how I’m doing so well after suffering from anxiety and panic attacks for so long? I recommend and use Panic Away. Click on the link to get started today and reclaim your life from fear.
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4 Responses to Negative Thinking: Breaking the Habit

  1. maz says:

    Wow are you brilliant or what. Shame on that family member even if he was upset no excuse for being angry at you when you were helping and as for kicking the door not a good move. Personally I wouldn’t have been in the room so that you could do your job. Big pat on the back

    Shame your thinking could make you think you were in trouble but that’s the nature of the beast called anxiety

    My negative thinking sabotages me every day at some point some days I can move past it and other days it really gets the better of me. I’m in the getting the better of me phase now but good tip practice positive affirmations

    Went on a course for mindfulness which tells you to just let the thought pass and not label it good or bad just let it be how easy is that not but I do try to do it. Also stay in the moment use your senses on the task at hand

    I am so proud of you for just doing it

    Great work

    Maz

    • JillG says:

      Aw Maz, and I am so proud of you for taking that course on mindfulness and thank you for the tips. Yes, the trying is the important part for sure…

      Onwards and upwards we go right? :)

  2. Rosetta says:

    Negative thinking keeps us stuck with our anxiety disorder we need to break this negative thinking to go ahead. Step by step we’ll do it.

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