People who frequently have a premonition that something bad will happen often grew up in an environment where bad things occurred on a regular basis. These “bad” things don’t have to be dramatic such as violence or shouting. They might be more subtle, though equally agonizing, such as being ignored or receiving cold glares.
People growing up in such an environment can develop a defense system that keeps them on high alert for danger. This constant vigilance then gets internalized and leads to an ongoing sense of anxiety.
Neuro-plasticity research shows that you can change this high anxiety outlook —by replacing each thought with a reasonable substitute.
So, when you feel that something bad might happen, first check to see if everything is normal and safe. Then, consciously replace the worried thought with a positive thought. Finally add the thought, “Whatever will be will be,” or “Que sera sera.”
If the negative thought pattern is severe and getting in the way of your well-being, a psycho-therapist trained in EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) — an effective treatment for trauma — can often help you change those negative thought patterns.
by Alison Poulsen, PhD
Reference: EMDR Institute, Inc.