POSITIVE THINKING seems to work for some
people, but when you try it, you dont feel any better and
you dont DO any better. Why? Why doesnt positive
thinking seem to work for you?
You must have had the thought, Maybe
theyre faking it. Maybe it doesnt work for anybody.
But then you come across studies about positive thinking improving
health, and it makes you doubt your doubt, right? Then the question
is, Why doesnt positive thinking work for me?
And you think, Maybe if I thought positive about positive
thinking it would work better.
But thats not the problem. When positive
thinking works, its not because people believe in it
it works when it does because people are doing it in a certain
way. When positive thinking doesn't work for you, its
for one of these three reasons:
1. Your willpower is in conflict with
your imagination. Whenever the
two conflict, imagination always wins. If you are forcing yourself
to think positive while imagining things turning
out badly, you will feel badly even though you are saying positive
things to yourself. Imagination is more powerful.
2. Youre thinking positively negatively. If you try to prevent yourself from thinking a
negative thought, experiments show you will think the thought
MORE than if you dont try to avoid the thought. Thats
just how the brain works.
3. Your positive thinking is done shallowly
and without commitment. Platitudes
dont work. You cant just say positive things
and expect it to have an impact on your attitude or your mood.
Your feelings are affected by what you truly believe, not what
you merely say.
If you want to enjoy the health benefits,
the benefits to your relationships, and the improved effectiveness
at accomplishing your goals that positive thinking can give you
youve got to apply these principles:
1. Dont use force. You cant
force yourself to be positive, and in fact, forcing yourself
is an unpleasant feeling. Use your imagination effectively instead.
Sit down, close your eyes, and relax first before
you use your imagination. (Read why you must relax first). Once youre
relaxed, imagine the outcome you want. If youre in the
middle of a crisis you cant do this, of course. So this
one wont work on the spot. But it will work for a longer-term
situation. A few times a week, relax deeply and envision the outcome you want.
2. It doesnt work to try not
to think of something negative. If you find yourself doing that,
what can you do? Direct your thoughts with a good question. Read more
about this technique here.
3. If platitudes dont work, but you
want to think more positively, what can you do? The negative
thoughts are like a virus on your computer. You need a way to
isolate the virus and then remove it. Forcing yourself to think
something positive every time you think something negative doesnt
work because you dont believe the positive thought.
The solution is to find out whats
wrong with the negative thought and if theres nothing
wrong with it, to accept the reality and stop concerning yourself
with trying to disbelieve it.
But probably there is something
genuinely wrong with your negative thoughts. You can find out
by using the Antivirus
for Your Mind. It is a process of calling up those negative
thoughts one at a time and really looking at each one carefully
to see if the thought contains any of the 22 mind-viruses.
These are 22
thought-mistakes. Everybody makes them at some time or another,
and (without knowing it) believes something that isnt true
something that impairs their ability to function or something
that brings them down unnecessarily. Root out those mistakes
in your own thoughts and free yourself of the tyranny of false
Positive thinking done in a particular
way can indeed work beautifully. Now you know how. Does
it seem too hard? Were you looking for a quick fix? If so, look
carefully at your belief. Would it really be so hard to relax
and imagine a good outcome? Would it really be so hard to spend
a half hour rooting out a false belief that consistently brings
The benefits of effective positive thinking
far outweigh the time and effort it takes to achieve it.
So start today. Choose one of the three
solutions and get to work on it. After you have that one pretty
well mastered, come back and choose another one and work on it.
If you have questions or want to share your experiences (or read
others experiences), check out the comments page for "Why Doesn't Positive