How to Benefit From Negative Thinking
Due to the overwhelming emphasis on positivity, it can seem like even having a negative thought is a crime. I’d like to offer a different view. We need to stop trying to “stop having negative thoughts”. I believe the focus on “not having negative thoughts” is actually what psychologists call “repression”. Repression (aka “sweeping things under the rug”) is mentally hiding from the consequences of an issue that is causing us pain.
So, you might ask, what are we supposed to do with our negative thoughts? Here’s some perspectives you might think about:
- Recognize that negative thoughts will happen. Think about it. If something wasn’t important to you, why would you be thinking about it all?
- Don’t dwell. Dwelling excessively on thoughts (either positive or negative) takes us from the thinking that we need to do in the present.
- Challenge that negative thought. Challenge your negative beliefs. Look for times when you overcame a negative belief you had.
When we work with (instead of against) our negative thoughts, we can tap into the power (not fear) that comes with them.