I Hate School

Negative emotions can keep you from learning.  Think of your brain as an advanced computer.  Negative emotions can take over and prevent you from concentrating, thinking, and remembering.  When I ask students to respond to words like school, homework, reading, writing, or test, I often find the words trigger such strong negative feelings that learning is impossible.

For a more detailed treatment of negative emotions, read the article Overcoming Anger and Other Negative Emotions.

Here are a few suggestions for now.

Learn the skill of dealing with negative emotions

Granted, I donít expect you to read these suggestions and immediately master the skills; however, we can start.  You will have situations and people that trigger negative emotions throughout your life.  Why give chance, circumstance, or people control over how you feel?

Donít make the if/when mistake

Too many people believe they will feel better if/when.  ďWhen I get out of school, I will be happy.Ē  ďIf I find a beautiful wife, I will be happy.Ē  If you donít know how to deal with negative feelings now, you will not magically know how to deal with them later.  Out of school, other problems will emerge that will trigger negative feelings.  Even a beautiful wife may trigger negative emotions.  School is life.  Start now learning how to deal with negative feelings.

Look for the automatic thought/pictures linked to the yuck feelings

I often feel despair when I have too much to do and not enough time.  A wave of despair sweeps over me that clouds my thinking and hinders my ability to function.  However, I have learned that one simple automatic thought is tied to that feeling: I CANíT DO THAT.

Why should such a simple thought be linked to such a strong feeling of despair?  Perhaps as a child I worked on something that really mattered and suddenly realized I couldnít do it.  The thought and linked feeling of despair were recorded as a memory.

If youíre tired of feeling negative emotions about school, take the feelings and see if you can find the linked automatic thoughts/pictures.  Once you find the thought, ask yourself questions about it.  I CANíT DO THAT!  What is it you canít do? Can you open the letter?  Can you walk across the room?  Take one thing at a time.  The questions break the memory pattern and return you to the present.  My desk may still be stacked up, and I may still have a problem with my time, but now I can think efficiently as well as feel better.

Even talking to yourself helps, especially if you think in pictures.  Just put into words what you are doing.  ďOK, Iím going to open this letter.  Who is it from?  What do they want me to do?  Letís see, I have an appointment at 10 a.m.Ē  You get the picture.  By putting thoughts into words, you turn off the automatic movie and linked negative feelings.

Let me know

Play with the idea.  If you need some help, email me for a free consultation.
(C) 2000, Don Mize

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