Anyone who has ever suffered through a case of insomnia knows this well. The harder you try to sleep, the less rest you get. Sleep only comes if you can relax and let go.
It’s true for many other things, too.
Like garage-door controls.
The other day, I was trying to get into my neighbor’s house to walk his dog and pressed the code into the box outside the garage more than 20 times, but the garage wouldn’t lift.
“You’re pressing the buttons too hard,” my daughter told me.
She did the sequence one time, pressing the buttons effortlessly, and up the garage went.
And it definitely applies to managing your thoughts.
The Harder You Try, the More Negative Things Can Get
A study published in August 2007 in The Journal of Neuroscience showed that there was a breakdown in normal patterns of emotional processing that prevented depressed and anxious people from suppressing negative emotions. In fact, the more they tried, the more they activated the fear center of their brain — the amygdala — which fed them more negative messages.