Kind and encouraging exchange of ideas among friends…for everyday life

3/31 Learning to transform negative thinking into positive: notice, stop, step back…..

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Note: this is a combination post….text in this post is written by Kathy. Steps, words and ideas on  the “image pages” are from Jampa’s ideas.

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from Kathy: I try very hard to live with a positive state of mind… with kindness, generosity, nurturing and positive ethics.  Most of this blog emphasizes the nurturing of those wonderful positives.

But… I’ve noticed that negative thinking can quietly slip in and function like those downward chutes in the kids’ game, Chutes and Ladders.  And the tumbles down those chutes can be difficult. I’ve, therefore, found that it’s really important to learn to get more “control” of that more negative mind, to put limits on the feisty 2  year old in one’s mind.

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Here  are some steps that I’ve been encouraged to use when I notice negative thoughts or thinking…. to follow these steps… time after time… and eventually to work toward lessening the habits of negative thinking. (I’ve notice, that for me, the negative thinking and mind chatter is often about/toward myself, not others.)

At first it was a bit difficult to remember to use the steps, but with a bit of practice, it gets easier. I’m finding that I seem to have far fewer negative thoughts and a much calmer, more positive outlook after about 4 weeks of consistently using these steps… there seem to be some very  positive shifts happening in my thinking.

 

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Below are some specific words, from some recorded guided meditations. The words and reasoning are very straightforward and direct. They were said in a kind and nurturing manner, but still firm. I’ve tried being gentle with my own negative thinking, but changes didn’t happen… and so here is a more direct approach. My thanks to Jampa for helping  and sharing these with me… they’ve been very helpful for me and I thought they might be helpful for someone else.

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There are some philosophies that seem to encourage sitting with whatever thoughts or emotions that arise. Other philosophies, however, seem to take a more proactive approach, to investigate these thoughts and feelings and to shift out of these thoughts and subsequent emotions.  Thoughts do lead to feelings… and so my perspective is to do whatever I can to shift that thinking into more helpful, positive, proactive habits.

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Negative thoughts lead to negative feelings, which in turn lead to more negative thoughts… a bit like putting contaminated logs on a fire… the resulting smoke and fumes would definitely  be unhealthy to breath….

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More positive thoughts lead to more positive feelings, which in turn lead to more positive thoughts, a bit like putting dry logs on a campfire fire, resulting in nice warmth and light… and maybe even  a few yummy, roasted  marshmallows?

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A compilation page: including several of the individual pages…. I print these out….and tape them up on the walls, to remind myself to use the steps….

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2 responses

  1. Excellent! This could be a Manual for Life.

    March 31, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    • Thanks Peter….(Peter is Kathy’s husband) … these pages have been up on our walls for a few weeks…so Peter’s seeing them being used, too. Peter got to join in on lots of these discussions too… we both learned so much during those recent weeks.

      March 31, 2012 at 4:32 pm

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