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).

215 comments

Jo S.
Jo S.8 months ago

Thank you.

Helen Wu
Helen Wu3 years ago

Thank You :)

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal3 years ago

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

Chinmayee Jog
Chinmayee Jog3 years ago

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!

Uma Chernoff
Judith Shafer3 years ago

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.

Jon Sarvis
Jon Sarvis3 years ago

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.

Heather M
Heather Marv3 years ago

"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.

Vicky P.
Vicky P.3 years ago

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

Uma Chernoff
Judith Shafer3 years ago

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.

Anne Moran
Anne Moran3 years ago

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....