Positive thinking gets such a bad rap. I hear clients (and others) dismiss their (sometimes big) woes saying, ‘I know I should be positive/grateful etc.’ So not only are they struggling with the woe but they’re effectively using ‘positive thinking’ and (negative) thoughts about how they ‘should’ be thinking as sticks to beat themselves up with.
This Huffington Post piece explores positive thinking and some of the myths.
In your own life, you may want to be mindful around it and just notice your natural thoughts. Which ones do you judge to be positive? What do you consider to be negative?
There might be times when noticing a negative thought encourages you to do something differently (change that relationship/job/world). Other times, even when things are far from positive, you may be heartened by your increased capacity to remain OK.
It’s like the Serenity Prayer, ‘Grant me the courage to change the things I can change, accept the things I can’t change and the wisdom to know the difference.’
And noticing all the times you naturally feel good, positive and so on will help you simply identify all the fantabulous things you’re already doing and build on that.
But you may want to change the question/judgement from, ‘Is this thought positive?’ to ‘Is this thought kind?’
When we combine kindness and self-compassion with positive thinking, we can move mountains. The mind is an amazingly powerful tool.