September 24     

Today's quotation:

Gradually, the repeated triggering of negative thoughts and moods can begin wearing grooves in the mind; over time, these become deeper and deeper, making it easier to set off negative, self-critical thoughts and low or panicky moodsó and more difficult to shake them off.  After a while, prolonged periods of fragility can be triggered by the most innocuous of things, such as a momentary dip in mood or the slightest flux in energy levels.  These triggers can be so small that you might not even be aware of them.

Mark Williams
Mindfulness:†An Eight-Week Plan

Today's Meditation:

It's very hard to avoid negative thoughts.  After all, so many difficult things happen to us that it's almost inevitable that such thoughts are going to enter our minds.  And when they do, they tend to hang around for a while, pushing out the positive thoughts and ideas and taking up residence in the forefront of our minds.  When that happens to me, it takes great effort to push them out and let back in the positive thoughts--and it often takes me a while to recognize what's going on, so I spend more time than I want with the negative thoughts and moods.


We have to be aware that the longer we allow these thoughts to control us and keep us hostage, the more used to them we become and the more damage they can do.  As Mark says, the more fragile we become, the easier it is to drop into negative states at the drop of the hat, at the slightest provocation.  If we don't want this to happen, we have to be mindful of our current state and our current thoughts so that we can get rid of the negativity once it shows up and not allow it to dig itself in and make itself at home.

The truth is that the more we focus on the negative, the more likely we are to be affected by the negative, much more often.  It's up to us to shift that focus as soon as we recognize it, and to do our best to focus on the positive instead.  It's definitely not always easy, especially when life seems to be doing its best to get us down, but this is the part that we can actually control-- what we choose to focus on.

Of course, there is no magic potion to drink to help us to focus on the positive.  And sometimes we have to work with people who trigger almost exclusively negative thoughts and feelings, so there's no real escape unless we actually leave the job, which isn't always possible.  But even through such trials, we have the ability to make our choices about what we're going to think about certain situations, and our choice always should be to focus on the positive and do our best to make the positive even better, and to let the negative be what it is, and not allow it to bring us down.

Questions to consider:

Why is it so often so easy to focus on the negative and allow it to bring us down?

How might we go about keeping our minds on the positive instead of focusing on the negative?

What are some of the most positive elements of your life?  How much time do you spend focused on those?

For further thought:

If you keep on saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet.

Isaac Bashevis Singer

more thoughts and ideas on negative attitudes

  

  

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