Turn on the news, read a social media page, or even talk to a friend; the negatives pour forth and stop us in our tracks. Sometimes an entire day is wasted rehashing the negative event or conversation.
The consequences of negative thinking are enormous. And yes, equally massive consequences are experienced from positive thinking. First, we must understand, as Dan Mager MSW states in Phycology Today, Nov 18, 2014, “nearly all experiences have both ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ aspects.”
WHAT? Does this mean I can choose which way my thinking goes? YES, YOU CAN!
Let us look to The Buddha, and his teachings as written by Thich Nhat Hanh,
“Almost all painful feelings have their source in an incorrect way of looking at reality. When you uproot erroneous views, suffering ceases.”
Ceasing suffering in our lives can only be a good thing but the concept of reality is subjective. In fact, we can create our own reality and often do. Unfortunately, in many cases, the reality created is that of a negative outcome. A thought or an erroneous observation of only the bad things in life results in a cycle of negative thinking or an unhealthy form of rationalization. Couple this with negative self-talk and negative comments about those things and a destructive pattern emerges; a pattern of suffering.
“Unhealthy ways of thinking and reacting to things can cause depression and anxiety, prolong stressors, and create chronically stressed states of mind that can affect your heart health and immunity.” Melanie Greenberg Ph.D.
More pointedly, this attitude is a symptom of the perceived failure of future endeavors based on past experiences that are framed in a negative light; that is, failure, even before any risk is taken or task approached.
Worse yet, negativity is contagious. It infiltrates all aspects of life if allowed to thrive and it is just as contagious as an infectious disease.
There is a cure for a Negative Mindset and that is the polar opposite, a Positive Mindset. The good news is, just like a Negative Mindset; the Positive Mindset is contagious, infiltrating all parts of your life and those who interact with you.
Understanding and practicing a Positive Mindset has launched thousands of careers, eased physical ailments, eased mental stress and more. CNN – Thinking Business
Even if you do not feel you are a negative person, consciously working on how thoughts are framed and words spoken is a way to improve your life circumstances.
Here is an easy to follow guide to this transformative action; changing a destructive thinking into a constructive rational:
- Erase and Replace- learn to recognize and catch harmful thoughts or words, replacing them with an optimistic perspective. Perhaps your thoughts are “Why does that person have success and not me? I work just as hard and they are new, younger, older, less experienced, less educated, less talented.” Or “It’s not fair that I have to pay more in taxes or work longer hours or pass by the handicap space only to walk a mile in this heat!” Try saying this out loud the next time those thoughts creep into your conciseness:
“I am too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener.” Author Unknown.
It’s amazing how beautiful your own grass becomes once you stop focusing on someone else’s.
- Positive Affirmations- build your own list of these types of affirmations or a statement that AFFIRMS something to be true and do it in a positive light. This is a sure-fire way to begin the reprogramming of your mind and your environments. Need a little nudge? Here is a list and tips from Free Affirmations
- Gratitude- Motivation is found through focusing on and being grateful for those things that are good in your life; no matter how big or how small. The great thing about the Attitude of Gratitude; it has a snowball effect. The more gratitude you express (verbally or inwardly), the more you recognize those things deserving of your appreciation; and the more those things are attracted to you.
One final thought; our lives are complicated by so much negativity. If change is what you desire, change in a big way; practice ways to bring positive thinking and a Positive Mindset into your life every day. You will experience a transformation in your life that is truly astonishing!
Boggle your own mind with the practice of a Positive Mindset.