There is a big supply of unending messages from the positive thinking/positive psychology point of view. This can certainly be a great ideal to aspire toward; however, it’s message can be greatly misunderstood.
Positive Thinking and the Brain
The idea of positive thinking is grounded in brain science. For every thought you think, there is an electrical neurological force within the brain that activates our bio-chemistry with the production of neurotransmitters that send messages to the entire body. The way this happens is such that each thought creates a neuro-biological electrical storm, and those thoughts we think repetitively will create larger and larger storms. There is a saying in neurology that “neurons that fire together, wire together,” which means that thoughts you think over and over grow stronger and stronger neurologically. The same goes for behaviors and emotions. Then, add on top of that, the principle of neurology that says that those neurological clusters that fire together attract more and more neurons for that particular thought, behavior, emotion, or pattern. This is truly how we get ingrained into thinking and behavior patterns that become so en-trained in our brains, and thus our bodies, that they happen without even consciously thinking about it. So consciously using positive thinking, when you describe it this way, can be overwhelmingly helpful to recreate new brain patterns.
Underneath the thoughts, behaviors and emotions lies the real fertile ground for transformation. It is in this deeper place that our beliefs and deeper feelings are connected. Here is where I spend most of my time and energy in trying to figure out where my thoughts are coming from. From what belief about myself or the world or God is a particular feeling or thought being birthed. Especially those thoughts or feelings that seem to come up often such as, this isn’t fair or I’m just not smart enough or good enough.
Shaping Internal Realities
There is a myth or belief set that operates within that must be altered to see any real long term change. This is why positive psychology has its limitations. If you are not going into the deeper place to change whats underlying the thoughts and beliefs, then you are only dealing with the symptom rather than the cause. It is the shaping of this internal reality that begins to reshape the way you experience the world and all it’s happenings.
Mantras and Positive Thinking
I have used Mantras and Positive Thinking in my own life and in my clients lives as well with great success in changing those deeper belief systems and paradigms that cause the negative thoughts and feelings. The primary fundamental questions that most people ask or believe about deep within are: 1. Am I safe and 2. Am I enough. The answers to these 2 questions determine how you experience life itself. Therefore some mantras that I use are:
1. I AM SAFE and 2. I AM ENOUGH. To use a Mantra, you say this to yourself as many times as you can during your day. The mind is never idle, so if it is not being used to figure something out or to do a task, etc, then I like to focus it on something like a mantra that will help me in my life. This way the inner underlying workings of my programmed past are being overwritten by new thoughts and beliefs. There is a Mantra that I used and continue to use to this day that helped me reshape my experience of both my inner world and the outer world around me. I use it in times when I feel unloved or a lack of love or when I’m depressed or in times of unrest, etc. Its over 2000 years old and I like things that last a long time. I think they usually do because there is some truth in them.
Here is it: