There is no such thing as perfect. The dice are loaded, frankly. Out of every four thoughts we have, three of them are negative. This is a habitual evolutionary device designed to keep us thinking the worst. It means we can anticipate trouble so we can stay out of it. 
It doesn’t mean things have to stay like that. Being aware of this fact alone helps me tip the balance back. Thoughts are often habitual which have become entrenched. That’s what habits are, whether thoughts or actions. It is only when you shine a light on them that you can start to replace them. 
I recently had a client with self-esteem issues who had previously received cognitive behavioural therapy. She recalled that she had been encouraged to wave away her original thoughts and replace them with something new. We were working on something where I was asking her to really work through the original thought process and examine the belief which underpinned it. 
It is only then that I believe you should work at replacing it. If not, it’s like using correction fluid on what you have written, rather than crossing it out and using new words. You can’t see the workings. This approach seemed to work better with the client who really needed to work through her beliefs, rather than deploy some blind positivity. (I am not saying all CBH is like that, it just seems to have been her experience.) 
That doesn’t mean that you need to stay with the old thought. To start on a new path, a new habit needs to be initiated. When a trigger for the thought happens, a new mental process needs to be embedded to replace the old one. In truth, there is usually still the shadow of the previous thinking, which at least means that the core reasons for it have not been forgotten, but simply moved past. 
Accepting and acknowledging a thought, then choosing to replace it with something more helpful is a far more balanced way to keep everything in play rather than a perfect scenario. Life isn’t perfect, and neither are we. Don’t just cut out the negative. Work it through so you can understand the reasons why you felt that way. 
We need it to balance the positive. It’s yin and yang. Understand the full range of ourselves, so we can truly be who we are. 

Replacing negative thinking doesn’t mean forgetting it. Mindfulness Class Worcester 

Tagged as: Positivity, Self-esteem
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