Negative is normal

Pushing negative thoughts away by thinking positively isn’t always helpful. It’s normal for the mind to have negative thoughts. Recognise them as that, but try not to dwell on them.

‘He sold me to a Mind Zoo. I was the star exhibit. I had to sit on a box and tell my story whilst people told me to cheer up and think positive. ‘Give us a grin, little robot,’ they would shout at me, ‘give us a little chuckle.’ I would explain to them that to get my face to grin would take a good couple of hours in a workshop with a wrench, and that went down very well.

Douglas Adams. Life, the Universe and Everything.

Negative is normal

photo credit: Qabluna via photopin cc

We’ve all been brainwashed about positive thinking. But the fact is, the human mind is not naturally positive. Eastern models of psychology such as Zen, yoga and the Tao have recognised for thousands of years that the normal human mind has a natural tendency to judge and criticise; to find the negative and predict the worst; to tell us scary stories about the future and dredge up painful memories from the past; to become rapidly dissatisfied and seek more. In the West, we have somehow failed to see that this is the norm; this is what normal minds naturally do. Sadly, most Western models of psychology still believe that when our minds do these things, that’s somehow abnormal or unnatural and it means there is something wrong or defective. Fortunately, this attitude is gradually shifting – but it’s a slooooow process.’

Russ Harris. Confidence gap.

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