Positive thinking is good for us, so they tell us. I am not sure that this is true. If we are saying affirmations that feel false to us then they are not resonating with our energy and may be making us feel worse. If I am feeling down and telling myself I feel amazing, then I will probably end up feeling worse. It is easy to tell ourselves that we should be more positive but way more difficult to actually do it properly.
We need to find a balance between being positive and actually feeling that what we are saying is true. I also believe that when negative things happen we need to talk about them to get them out of our systems. This only works if we do not go down the rabbit hole of blame and anger. We need to feel the feelings but not become them.
Negative thinking is a pattern that is easy to fall into. When we are 100% responsible for our lives (which we are all the time, whether we like it or not!) it does us no good at all. I like to think about two little people on my shoulders, one telling me the good and the other the bad. My life changes depending on who I listen to.
It is like that story of the wise old man talking to the boy.
"A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil, he is anger, hate, jealousy, shame and lies”
He continued, “The other is good, he is joy, peace, love and truth. The same fight is going on inside you and inside every other person, too.”
The boy thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”
The old man simply replied, “The one you feed"
I love this story, it has been on my mind for the last few months as I navigated some difficult times. The best way I have found to feed the good wolf is to connect to my heart, even for a few minutes. Just breathe slowly in and out and feel the breath flowing in and out of your heart area. This resets the connection from your brain to your heart and helps with feeling better. If you want to take it a step further, send that feeling out to someone who needs it.
As I said in my Facebook and Instagram post yesterday - life is best when we are giving more than we are taking away. Follow me on either or both, they tend to be different, for inspiration and life questions in your newsfeed.
I have one more exercise which is very enlightening if you want to help yourself be more positive...carry around a little note pad and spend a few days writing down all the negative things you think about yourself. It can be quite frightening, particularly if you imagine saying them to a loved one, or particularly a child. I fought against doing this when my coach told me to last year. It felt way to uncomfortable, but it was so enlightening when I pulled up my big girl pants and got on with it! There was a ton of stuff I was telling myself that I surely would not say to another person. Awareness is the key. Once we hear the automatic negative thoughts (ANT) in our head, we have the ability to stop them. Modern energy tapping is my top way to change these patterns. Think of the feeling you would like instead and tap that in and imagine it taking away the associated ANT! It is tons of fun.