What if negative thinking can help you face the problems in your life with honesty and courage and deal with them..?
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Do you sometimes experience ruminating thoughts about how things are not the way they should be? Or you sometimes feel worried about what is happening in your life? Or maybe you are anxious because you want something badly but it is not coming your way? Sometimes the negative thoughts pile one after the other... But what if these thoughts can actually be helpful and beneficial...
This is a continuation of a theme I started previously about how positive thinking perpetuates the past. On the other hand, negative thinking can help you break free from the past.
Negative thinking can allow you to confront and face things as they are. It further helps you look into the darker side of your own psyche, life and relationships.
Negative thinking, in this context, is different from rumination and depression. What I'm talking about is a form of practical realism. This can be seen as a valid and helpful antidote to the prevalence of magical thinking being promoted nowadays.
Components of practical realism
Being careful not to sound to 'coachy' and 'new agey', I can boil it down to three As.
Awareness - noticing what is going on through neutral and non-judgmental observation.
Acceptance - acknowledging that what you see is indeed there or not being in denial.
Action - taking constructive action or non-action in response to what you've noticed.
Awareness and acceptance are absolutely essential to ensure that the subsequent (in)action is grounded in wisdom. Acceptance, in this context, is different from passivity. Instead it is about being real with yourself, acknowledging what is happening, and not deluding yourself. Acceptance can also lead to ruthless action. Put in other words "I accept that this is what I need to do in these circumstances".
Next time you notice negative thoughts in your mind, instead of denying them or chasing them away, embrace them with awareness. Ask open ended questions: what is going on, what are these thoughts pointing to, how can I learn from them.
Someone else's negative thoughts
It is important to appreciate that our environment can influence what is happening in our mind. Both work and home environments can put us around people who bitch, complain, barrage us with their B.S., or are genuinely going through a difficult period and need some support.
With experience and practice, you will begin to recognise and differentiate between different thoughts. Some are environmental pollution - i.e. the result of someone else's internal processing, which may be experienced as negative thoughts within your own awareness. Others, are genuinely arising mental responses to whatever is going on in our own life. In the case of the latter, it is wise and responsible to gently see what the negative thoughts are guiding us toward and work with it.
Being mindful and grounded is helpful in two ways. It allows us to differentiate between the two types of thoughts but also to be less strongly affected by others' thoughts.
Thanks for watching/reading. For a deeper discussion or to work together, please feel free to drop me a line on: email@example.com
Martin Stefanov Petkov
Master your Super Power