How To Balance Positive And Negative Thoughts
By now I think almost everyone in the world has heard about the power that our thoughts have (either positive or negative) and how they influence our lives. But most of us don’t deal with thoughts at all. However, the quality of our lives can be greatly improved if we start noticing them and choose to be selective about what goes through our minds.
So how much can we influence on well-established thought patterns created in the earliest childhood?
The role of negative thoughts
Most of the psychology teachers today suggest we should think only positive thoughts and deny/cut out/eliminate negativity so that we could be happy. But it is a pretty unhealthy approach because negative thoughts do have a certain role in our lives which should never be denied.
– help us identify threats
– point to something we are unhappy about
– help us identify our weaknesses
Basically, negative thoughts are our teachers, but only if we set our mind to look at it that way. That is why balancing our negative thoughts with positive is crucial. Nothing good will come out of nurturing only negative thoughts. The same goes for nurturing only positive thoughts. Balance is the key because one without the other doesn’t function properly.
How negative and positive thoughts work together
Would you ever appreciate the sun’s light if there was never night? Would you know the difference between hot and cold if one of them didn’t exist? Needless to say, our negative thoughts work very well when incorporated into our thought pattern with positive. This means nothing has to be cut out, only balancing the two is the answer. This way we only have to develop mindfulness (awareness) about thoughts when we choose to process the thoughts as they come. And then, based on our feelings, decide what to do with it and how to deal with it.
For example, someone upsets us. We get angry and frustrated because we’ve been done wrong to. That falls into the negative thoughts category because we feel unpleasant under the influence of all the negative thoughts and subsequent emotions. One way would be to let our mind fall further into negativity by developing additional negative thoughts like self-pity, need for revenge, desperation, etc. Or… we can see how this negative wave of thinking is making us sink further down and decide to use it. We can still feel hurt or angry, but instead of sinking lower we use this anger to undertake appropriate actions. Now, balancing this with positive means actively approach to this situation by involving positive thought like “I’m looking at the situation and my thoughts to see what they are telling me. I’ll deal with it and see all the possibilities on how to solve it. I’ll not let my mind drown in the river of negativity. Instead, I’ll let my emotions out. Also, I will see that it is just a temporary situation and nothing is permanent so I won’t lose my head over it…”. Awareness and decision to balance both negative and positive is the key.
Be objective and mindful about your thoughts
Whatever happens to us, getting the objective, a “bird view” of the situation is a good way to deal with it appropriately (whether we feel good or bad). That way we will be able to deal with our thoughts and not let them take us over.
Also, mindfulness is the best way to stay present, connected to your thoughts and actively involved in your thought pattern instead of letting thoughts have the life of their own.