Happiness doesn’t depend on how few negative thoughts you have, but on what you do with the ones you have.
1. It’s normal to have negative thoughts.
The human mind thinks about a squillion thoughts every day, and on average about a squillion minus a hundred are negative. It’s true. I Googled it.
Most of us are awash with negative thoughts. Even ones that seem positive, like I’m so great because I just got a new car, are really only negative ones in disguise, since they reinforce the belief you weren’t great before you got the new car.
And that’s the good news—negative thoughts are a normal part of human functioning.
This means you don’t have to worry about the fact that you’re having them in the first place. No matter how gnarly they get, it’s all pretty normal.
This brings me to the second piece of good news:
2. You don’t have to believe your negative thoughts!
You don’t actually have to believe your thoughts. It’s as simple as that. Sort of. No, it is, but let me explain.
Your mind would like you to believe that all of your thoughts are correct. One of the ways it does this is by having you think that you and it are one. The truth is your mind is just one part of you; it isn’t you.
Being able to separate your thoughts from your sense of self is one of the most useful things you can do. Try this: think of yourself as being made up of four parts.
- Physical body
- Spiritual aspect
This means: You. Are. Not Your. Mind. Your mind is just a tool for you to use.
All of your thoughts and perceptions are filtered through your unique belief system, and it’s this filter that causes negative thoughts. The negativity is in the filter.
When you try to “heal” and “grow,” what you’re trying to do is change the filter; you’re trying to change your belief system. You are the bit underneath your thoughts, and you will never change. You can’t—nor would you want to. You’re perfect.
You don’t have to analyze your nasty critical thoughts or worry about them. They’re just thoughts. If you really want to have fewer of them, stop listening to them.
Feeling solidly peaceful and contented occurs when your mind is quiet, or in the moments, no matter how small, when you remember that you don’t have to believe your thoughts.
Or as I like to say ”I don’t feel badly; my mind does!”
One thing I find helpful for dealing with a long held critical belief is to treat it like a game.
I think to myself, what if I didn’t believe this, even for a few seconds? The result is always strangely exhilarating. I can actually feel what it’s like to not believe it. (And sometimes it does only last for a few seconds!)
So what about thinking positively—that’s good for me right?
Great advice! You are not a rock, so it’s okay to have thoughts.
I miss my old body