Positive Thinking Meets Negative Emotions
Unless you’ve been living the life of a hermit, surely, you’ve gotten the memo that thinking positive thoughts and feeling positive emotions is real important.
Normal Vincent Peal’s “The Power of Positive Thinking” circa 1952 was a major intro to this idea.
Now, more than 70 years later, we have the science to back up the importance of doing so thanks to researchers like Candace Pert. I was lucky enough to study with her at Naropa University’s Somatic Symposium in 2000. Her book, “The Molecules of Emotion” was getting buzz at the time because it proved that the mind was in fact in the body (not just the head or brain). She also proved that our emotions effect our health. Her work was a tremendous boon to the field of somatics, and body-centered psychotherapy.
But, it’s not always so easy to feel good.
Feelings and Emotions Need to be Felt, Not Ignored
At times, we just do not feel positive thoughts and emotions. It can be hard to access feelings of safety, self-love and worthiness.
If you were to take the instruction to think positively at face value you might think the negativity inside is bad, wrong or shouldn’t be there. You might be tempted to ignore and deny this part of your experience.
This would be a mistake.
Noticing our thoughts and feelings is an aspect of mindfulness. It is an essential part of self-awareness to notice what is going on inside. What do we do, when we find something that is not especially positive?
We do what counselors and many others have been suggesting forever. Feel it. You’ve got to go through it, to get to the other side; not around it.
We can’t just change the way we feel like we flip to a different radio station. The key to getting from the sad, blues station to the upbeat tunes is to feel what is inside the negative feelings.
In case you need some encouragement to feel your feelings, look to Candance Pert’s book, “Everything You Need to Know to Feel Go(o)d.” Candace has made a scientific career of proving this truth, “When we feel, we heal.”
A good therapist can help you with the process of moving toward feeling more positivity. It includes getting in touch with the feelings that are less than comfortable. Just know, feeling them is the pathway toward greater health. When we feel our more challenging emotions, we have more access to our true happiness and positivity. They go to together.
Remember your emotions are your friends. Don’t judge them or make them bad. Get to know them by name and feel. There is a free downloadable worksheet right here, so you can increase your emotional vocabulary. Doing so allows you to have genuine access to more ease and happiness. If you need help surfing the waves of your emotional sea, reach out. I may be able to support you.