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What Do You Do With Negative Thoughts?

What Do You Do With Negative Thoughts?

Many people try to substitute “positive thinking” for the disturbing thoughts they want to eliminate. On the surface this tactic may lead to some signs of improvement.

The mind can be forced into identifying only with pleasant or uplifting things. But in time the feared thoughts will surface again, and until then there is the exhausting effort of trying to maintain constant self-control.

Many people, in their well-intended efforts to accent the positive, do not escape their problems but only increase them. They want to put an end to suffering but mistakenly choose the tactic of denying their true feelings, on the grounds that the feelings are “too negative” to express.

Paying attention to one’s fear and pain is a great source of guilt in most people because it seems like self-pity, a trait we think of as wrong. But denying pity to yourself, when you would give it willingly to others, is also wrong. We all have hidden pain inside, and trying to suppress it is not a virtue. It’s only an impossibility.

You may consider it very important to maintain a good attitude, but in itself an attitude is not very reliable. After all, who’s keeping who’s spirits up? Everything inside you is just you, even though you might split it up into a brave you that is trying to suppress or defeat a fearful you.

Does opposing your negative thoughts lessen their power? Doesn’t it just delay the day when they will come out in one way or another? If we keep playing this game of opposing thoughts that are not acceptable to us, we will always lose. The serious question is, ‘Can I give the whole game up?’ Very few people consider that alternative.

Adapted from Unconditional Life: Discovering the Power to Fulfill Your Dreams, by Deepak Chopra (A Bantam Book, 1991).

Read more: Deepak Chopra's Tips, Spirit, , ,

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.

214 comments

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8:10AM PDT on Mar 22, 2013

Thank You :)

4:02PM PST on Jan 20, 2013

Feelings are feelings and emotions are emotions.....embrace even those you don't want to accept, or they will persist.

3:55PM PST on Jan 12, 2013

I think it's very important to experience, accept, and then release negative thoughts and emotions. In this way you have learned what you need to learn from them and they don't accumulate!

8:46PM PST on Jan 10, 2013

Vicky the only thing that places you in negativity is the notion that things happen outside you and your control. That is the definition of negativity and that is all it is. The moment you have decided to determine your reality, that it's up to you how things go, you have transformed yourself into a positive minded individual. The only thing that makes you have negative thoughts is the idea that they happen, can come or go away and you are at their mercy and defined by everything outside you beyond your control. When you realize that you are being challenged to draw your line in the sand, when you say "OK! Enough! You're positive. That's all it's about. When you feel frightened or incapable of coming up with the answers to your challenges, even when you despair of ever mastering your life, that doesn't make you negative. The only thing that can do that is when you blame everything outside of you, your past, when your line is "Why is this HAPPENING TO ME?". When your motto becomes " oh oh....how did I manage that one?" you are being a positive person. It's that simple and that's all there is to it.

7:24PM PST on Jan 10, 2013

I had negative thoughts for many years- well in excess of 12 years. I was a real glass-half-empty sort of person. But I was not like that in the 1990s. My cure came within days.

My GP diagnose depression and recommended 75mg of F-Ex-Or per day. I have been positively HAPPY ever since. It is pure and simply a chemical imbalance.

Jon S.

6:14PM PST on Jan 10, 2013

"Be transformed by the renewing of your mind." We choose how we think in any given circumstance and if one does decide that they don't want negativity dominating their thoughts reading good material, (even the Word of God is full of wisdom look at Proverbs). Listening to Good music that soothes the soul. etc.

5:57PM PST on Jan 10, 2013

Negative thoughts don't go away for me, positive thinking doesn't seem to happen when I need it :/

5:42PM PST on Jan 10, 2013

Thank you Miranda. That's just it. Positive and negative don't operate as labels they are descriptions, words for active/aggressive and passive/reactive mental stances. The third stance is called creative when one chooses passive and active according to the benefits. For instance in making love: sometimes one is receiving, allowing self to be moved. sometimes aggressive, initiating action. so approaching love making thus is called the creative stance. When a person is described as negative and positive it means they exhibit a habitual, that is without forethought, mentality in one or the other. People think of people caught in the response only pattern as only what they see the most of so they might say "she's such a negative person" or the other, but people are not one or the other they exhibit and choose the behavior. If they choose they are automatically positive or creative.

4:52PM PST on Jan 10, 2013

DEEPAK WRITES : THE SERIOUS QUESTION IS: '' CAN I GIVE THE WHOLE GAME UP '' ?SAY WHAT ?? MORE RAMBLING, I'M AFRAID... ALL I CAN SAY IS, THE NEGATIVE IS AS PROMINENT IN LIFE, AS IS THE POSITIVE.. JUST WATCH THE NEWS, IT'S MAINLY NEGATIVE STUFF.. LOOK AROUND YOU AND SEE THE POOR, THE LAME, THE AFFLICTED,THE ELDERLY ETC.. PLENTY OF NEGATIVITY THERE IN IT'S ''NORMAL-NESS''.. CAN'T GO THROUGH LIFE WITH BLINDERS ON... NEGATIVE THOUGHTS ARE PART OF LIFE, AND DAILY LIVING....

4:15PM PST on Jan 10, 2013

I have grown very weary of the whole idea of "negative" and "positive"...in relation to anything...thoughts, feelings, emotions. The concepts have become so hackneyed and cliched as to be of very little real help to anyone in thinking about themselves, their patterns or behaviors.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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