This is a great title and there are lots of experts out there who have great sayings and make it sound so simple. If you really don’t have too much issue with anxiety, it is pretty easy to practise being positive and for some it actually comes naturally.
For those of us who really suffer with anxiety, panic attacks, negative people around us, this title will sound like an impossible thing to do. I have read so many “inspirational quotes” and thought, “Wow, wouldn’t it be great if it were that simple!” It IS simple in fact. The difficult part is for us to practise what they preach. Once you get use to doing that, and this could take years for some, it starts to come naturally. Still every once in a while you have to remind yourself to think positive when you feel extra anxious about something coming up.
Today, I have decided to start doing a regular weekly post on,
“Believe in Positive Thinking.”
It took me years to learn how to do this, (and I’m still learning.) I did everything from listen to motivational tapes, to writing positive thoughts on paper, repeating those thoughts over and over again in my head, then out loud. I even started recording my own self-hypnosis tape of positive words, hoping that hearing the words in my own voice, I would start to believe them.
Isn’t it odd that we anxious people find it so easy to believe a negative comment. We don’t even question it. We just believe what has been said. Compare that to our reaction to a positive comment, like someone telling us how nice we look today. My first reaction to something like that was always to think they were just being nice. I didn’t believe them, however when one fellow was introduced to me, he said, “I know you, I’d recognize that nose anywhere!” I believed him. I didn’t question it. I knew at that moment I was ugly. There was no denying it, not even trying to talk myself in to the fact that I looked good.
This is where the positive thinking really works, but it takes a lot of practise. That guy didn’t make me feel ugly. I felt ugly because of what he said, but that is me reacting to what he said. As difficult as it is, we must let it roll off of our shoulders and on to the floor where it belongs, with the rest of the dirt, where he actually belongs. I mean, really, who says, “I’d recognize that nose anywhere,” to a 40 year old woman. Yes, this was over 15 years ago and I still remember it like it was this morning. This happened before my positive thinking started taking hold. I can’t forget how awful, ugly and humiliated I felt at that moment.
So what do I do now if someone makes an inappropriate comment? My reaction depends on the situation, the place and who is the one saying it and the mood I am in at the time. Sometimes, I am snappy and can be rude. I’m sure this is not the ideal way to respond, but sometimes it is necessary for me to return the favour (I’m still working on my reactions.) I know all of you therapists out there are thinking I should not be returning negative comments to get even. I don’t always do this. Like I said, it depends on my mood mostly. If someone where to comment about my long nose these days, I would probably say something like, “Oh, thank you! I grew it just for you! Is there anything else you would like to point out?” I don’t think they deserve to get off scott free, they are acting like a bully. They should be put in there place and hopefully feel embarrassed for what they said. The point is, I don’t let their comments become important to me. I don’t immediately start to think, everyone else thinks that way too.
If I told you all of the things I have accomplished since starting the positive thinking stuff 20 years ago, you might not believe I ever had an anxiety problelm. But I did, and still do. I still have to practise pushing away the negative but I’m so much better at it.
So every Sunday I will write a “Believe in Positive Thinking,” post. I will schedule it to publish around 4 pm my time (Pacific.) If it helps you, that is perfect! If you have something you want to add to it or another quote, please feel free to share. This truly is what has helped me change my way of thinking and my overall attitude. I hope it will help you too!
I’m Frazzled Again.