Do you dwell on the bad side of life, believing that you are just being realistic by accepting negative thoughts and feelings? Do you hear yourself saying things such as, “Well, isn’t that just my luck,” or, “I can’t do anything right,” without even thinking about them?
Allowing your mind to dwell on the negative definitely affects how you feel, and may even affect what happens. After all, if you always expect bad things to happen, will you take the actions necessary to make good things happen? Probably not, because you have internalized the idea that good things do not happen to you.
You may believe that how you think can not change, but that is not at all true. You can make a conscious choice to think positive thoughts and change how you feel.
Think positive but realistic thoughts
As part of your philosophy, realize that you can control your thoughts, as long as you are mentally healthy. And you will remain mentally healthy if you practice positive but realistic thinking.
Make constructive suggestions to yourself daily. But don’t make them so all-inclusive that your rational mind will laugh at them. For instance, Coue’s formula, “Every day in every way I am getting better and better,” worked for those who were not analytical. But it couldn’t work for anyone who said to himself, “But that’s ridiculous. The pain in my big toe is not getting any better; I’ve never learned to control my temper, and my headaches are not vanishing.”
Positive affirmations are fine, but they must be keyed to one’s realistic expectations.
“This will pass,” is more realistic than, “Everything is getting more wonderful every minute.” The unconscious mind will accept, “I am going to sleep well, and wake up feeling fine tomorrow morning,” sooner than it will accept, “I am going to sleep well every night of my life.”
Give the unconscious mind positive thoughts to chew on, but don’t give it unrealistic thoughts that the conscious mind refuses to swallow.
You and you alone control your real thoughts. Thieves may break down your doors and enter your house, and steal your possessions. But you are always safe in your innermost thoughts. No matter what life does to you, you can control them.
The man who learned to be happy. Gamaliel Bradford, the famous biographer, once said that he would have spared himself many years of suffering if he had known in his youth the lesson he learned much later: that he could think about anything he wanted to, and dismiss all thoughts that irked him from his mind. You can learn this lesson today, right this instant.
Let us remember what Alfred Loomis said: “I am bigger than anything that can happen to me. All these things—sorrow, misfortune, and suffering—are outside my door. I am in the house, and I have the key.”
Use the key to alter your thinking and change your life in meaningful ways.