Today’s affirmation is:
“Each and every day I am learning how magnificent life can be and how magnificent I can be.” (click the affirmation to hear it in MP3)
“Speak of the Devil and he appears,” goes the old aphorism. Some people in the positive thought movement seem to think the same thing about negative thoughts. They are something to be avoided at all costs. You must stamp them out like burning embers of a campfire to prevent their spread.
Certainly the great Dr. Norman Vincent Peale was a popular pioneer in the positive thinking movement. His writing has within it these admonitions to treat negative thinking like the plague. Many who have come after him have picked up on this theme.
Obviously, the goal of positive thinking and affirmations is to diminish negative thoughts and counter them with positive thoughts. This is a worthy and highly beneficial goal that enhances your life. Negative thoughts, however, are a natural part of being human. We all have them and we will always have them.
The problem is when we try to become a superhuman robot who avoids negative thinking. This is not realistic or even beneficial. The fear of negative thinking becomes a focus rather than the true task – to increase levels of positivity in our lives.
To panic and spend a lot of time concerning yourself with negative thoughts, only causes them to blossom and grow. Recognizing them, accepting them, and letting them go steals their power and allows them to vanish back into the void from where they came. Having a negative thought is not the problem. Allowing them to become your habitual way of seeing things is what you want to avoid.
Actually, our negative thoughts provide a natural benefit. They shed light on the parts of us that need work and attention. If you always have negative thoughts about your job, maybe that part of your life needs some attention. If you have negative thoughts about certain people, those may be relationships that need work.
It’s rather entertaining sometimes to simply “thought watch”. Our minds are interesting things. When you relax, close your eyes, and watch your thoughts for a while. Quickly, you notice how impermanent thoughts are. They appear and create feelings. They disappear and the feelings disappear with them.
If your thoughts are very destructive and involve hurting yourself or others, get professonal help.
Here are four things you can do to handle and live more harmoniously with common negative thoughts. They form the word CALL.
- Counter – counter your negative thoughts with tools like affirmations. Persistent negative thoughts can be countered and changed by offering positive alternatives. This process is called thought substitution. Negative thoughts help you identify where you need to target affirmations.
- Accept – accept that you will have negative thoughts and it’s OK. You’re human after all. No beating yourself up.
- Listen – listen to your negative thoughts. They may provide insight into where you need to focus your self-improvement efforts.
- Laugh – some of your negative thoughts really are pretty funny when you get enough perspective. Lighten up and see the humor in the way your mind works.
I’m not saying don’t try to transform your negative thoughts into something positive. I’m just saying that when they want to come out and play, CALL allows you to say, “Bring it on!”
Be peaceful Be positive Be prosperous!