Is negative thinking bad?

Negative thinking gets a bad rap. It's often seen as something to be avoided. On the flip side, positive thinking is seen as abundance attracting abundance, that we get what we think on, that it's the law of attraction. But is it really possible to be positive all the time?

Positive thinking seems to come naturally to some people. They always look on the bright side, see the good in people and in situations, are often cheery and smiling.

Are they positive thinkers because they have nothing to be negative about or because positivity is attracting more positivity? Perhaps a bit of both?

This is just me but I find it unrealistic to be positive around the clock. Don't get me wrong, I love me some positive thinking. But I find it feels forced trying to be positive all the time if I'm just not feeling it.

The whole point of positive thinking is to feel good when doing it. If you're suppressing negative thinking and faking positivity, it's putting way too much pressure on yourself.

Forcing positivity can feel exhausting and stressful

So why not allow ourselves to go down the road of negative thinking, if or when it comes up?

Negative thinking doesn't have to be the enemy. In fact, it can be the stepping stone you need to bring you back to clarity.

Being aware of it can be the first step to letting it pass.

Meeting negative thinking with resistance will give it more momentum, whereas noticing it and seeing it for what it is gives it the chance to dissipate.

What are those negative thoughts about?

What brought them on?

Are they true? Useful? Helpful in any way?

The mere asking of these questions helps slow down negative thinking.

The next step? There doesn't have to be a next step right away. Being aware of negative thinking, understanding what it is about, what triggered it and if there is any truth to it is already an achievement.

But if you're ready to go further:

What would be true, useful and helpful?

What would that look like?

How would that feel?

When the time comes for you to ask yourself these questions, there are no right or wrong answers. It's about exploring what feels good to you.

That's not to say you won't experience negative thinking again. In fact, you no doubt will, like most of us. But perhaps you won't give it the same importance. Or perhaps you won't see it the same way. Or perhaps you will make it a habit to dig deeper.

Our thoughts are like a river, they are always flowing

The next time you feel the social pressure of having to think positively all the time, remember our thoughts are like a river.

Whether our thoughts are flowing this way or that way, negatively or positively, they are always moving.

We can accept that negative thoughts are going to happen.

We can be conscious of them and even say hi to them: "I see you negative thought. I know you're not real."

We can sit with them a while and give them our attention.

And if or when we are ready, we can filter them out or redirect them.


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© 2019 - 2020 Leaning into feeling

I am not a doctor or a psychologist. The support and guidance I give in coaching sessions and in any coaching materials is not intended to replace a medical professional's medical care and treatment. My work with you cannot and will not diagnose or treat any medical problem. For any healthcare decisions, advice from a medical specialist should be sought out.