Is Positivity The Solution To Your Negative Thinking?

genuine happiness thinking Mar 28, 2021
positive thinking amidst negative thoughts


What are the first words that come up for you when you consider negative thinking?


Inconvenience? Burden? Bother? Nuisance? Stupid? Something along those lines?


If you’re like most people, you probably wish that your negative thoughts didn’t exist. If you’re like most people, you blame your negative thoughts for the less-than-happy moments or days of your life.


And you’re right.


Without negative thoughts, you would have a happier life.


Typical Advice On How to Curb Negative Thinking


Appropriately, there is lots (and I mean lots!) of advice out there on how to curb your negative thinking.


And most commonly, it goes something like this:

  • Visualize positive situations instead.

  • Recite positive affirmations instead.

  • Find an alternative, more positive way of looking at things.

  • When the negative thought comes up, say “not true”.

  • Ask yourself, “Is this thought helping me or hurting me?”

  • Just be more positive.

  • Stop focusing on the negative.

  • Don’t believe your thoughts.


Although well-intentioned, all this advice aims to do is to help you curb negative thinking in the moment. Does it work in the moment? Maybe. Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no. Sometimes, it makes things feel far far worse because it ignores and invalidates important aspects of you.


The biggest problem with this advice, though, is that all it aims to do is put a bandage of positivity over your negative thoughts. It doesn’t help you learn something powerful and new that can truly transform your relationship with your negative thoughts. And if this type of advice were enough to transform your inner world of thinking from negative to positive, you’d be there already and I wouldn’t need to write this article, right?


If I can liken these attempts to overcome negative thinking to an experience we are all having right now (i.e., the coronavirus pandemic), it would be this:

The typical advice out there to help you curb your negative thinking gives you a mask to wear on your face and tells you to socially distance yourself from your negative thoughts. What it doesn’t provide is a vaccine and research to address the root of the problem in the first place.

Is Positivity The Solution To Your Negative Thinking?


So, is positivity the solution to your negative thinking? Usually not. If it were genuine, it could be. And most of the time, when it’s intended to provide relief to negative thinking, it’s not genuine. The way to make the advice more genuine and meaningful is to address the root of negative thinking, rather than just trying to cover it up and put a cherry of positivity on top of it.


Better Advice On How to Curb Negative Thinking


If you are just about done trying to make the above advice to adjust your negative thinking (or advice like it) work for you, you are not alone. Join me for my live segment this week and every week in my free virtual community, The Happiness Hub, where I’ll be sharing three powerful and effective actions you can take to relate differently to your negative thinking, instead of forcefully trying to change your negative thoughts into positive ones. I can’t wait to see you there!


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