Let’s call BS on all the positive thinking hype these days.
Can we really stop negative thoughts and manifest what we want by only thinking positively?
Do most of us need to fix our flaws?
One of the reasons why I love Dr. Andrea Bonior’s book “Detox Your Thoughts,” is because she gently reminds us that working on ourselves is a lifelong opportunity to grow deeper and more authentic.
She doesn’t focus on trying to help us eliminate negative thoughts but more so on helping us change our perspective about our thoughts in general.
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Does Every Thought Deserve Power?
Dr. Bonior acknowledges that a person’s overall mindset and attitudes affect their moods and behavior. But she stresses that any thought, in particular, is not truly part of you and doesn’t need to define you.
Giving our thoughts so much weight is what causes them to really matter. Even though they’re just thoughts, like words on a sheet of paper. It’s when we allow negative thoughts to become sticky and hang around that our mental health starts to be affected. This is known as giving a negative thought undeserved power.
Just because you have a thought doesn’t make it true.
We have to separate our thoughts from our true sense of self.
How Can You Separate From Your Thoughts?
Dr. Bonior offers many different ways of observing our thoughts and re-envisioning the negative ones.
- Acknowledge when you are having a negative thought. The most important part of acknowledgment is accepting in a non-judgmental way. You can say things like, “I’m noticing some worry about an upcoming project.“ Or “I’m having the thought that I will make a mistake with this family situation.“
- Envision your thoughts in material form. This will help you understand how they are separate from you. For example, you could create the mental picture that your negative thought is rocky, black dirt. Then, you can envision this dirt going down a drain as you wash your hands.
- If the visual is the problem, acknowledge that, and remember not to run from it. Recognize that the visual, along with the negative thought, will pass.
- You could also distance yourself from your thoughts by making them musical. This was one of my favorites and made me laugh at one of the negative thoughts I was having. The idea is to put your thoughts into song lyrics. For example, if you made a mistake at work, you could sing it to the tune of your favorite song. “I messed up, yeah, yeah, yeah,“ to the tune of “She Loves You“ by The Beatles. And then, let it pass.
Remember that it may take practice to separate from your thoughts. It’s a process that will eventually come more naturally.
I believe in the power of manifestation, but I definitely understand Dr. Bonior’s point of view. Getting too caught up in the power of our thoughts can backfire, especially if we struggle with negative thoughts. Negative thoughts can leave a person wondering, “What’s wrong with me?”
But as she says plainly, it isn’t about fixing flaws or erasing negative thoughts; it’s about growing bigger than them.
I’m up for that challenge.
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