AFFIRMATION AND HEALTHY THINKING
As We Think, So We Become
In this page you will find the phrase "positive thinking." This phrase refers to the application of grounded and wise thinking that will improve situations. The phrase "positive thinking" is not an excuse for undisciplined, unrealistic, ungrounded, ignorant, selfish, or naive behavior.
WE ARE WHAT WE THINK WE ARE
Affirmation and positive thinking (and also prayer) are ways of bringing healthy, useful, benevolent and wholesome thoughts to the intellect. We replace any negative and unhealthy thoughts (VICE) with positive and healthy ones (VIRTUE). When we entertain a thought, it has a direct effect upon all our centers - mental, emotional, and physical. As the thought is entertained, immediately we begin to emit the signals corresponding to this thought. For example, when we are afraid the physical body goes through various changes - chemically, hormonally, visually.
As we think, so we become. If we entertain ugly thoughts for a long time, our being will take on the form of these thought vibrations. And likewise, if we entertain good, wholesome, and beautiful thoughts, our being will absorb and emit these qualities.
If we are surrounded by negative thinking people, then it is highly probable that we shall absorb these opinions and values. The same applies for positive, spiritually charged atmospheres.
Change and transformation is generally quite a slow process. It takes time and practice to learn a new skill and to begin with our habitual way of thinking can be difficult to change. But we can change. Like a sculptor chipping away at her stone to make a nice statue, so too we can chip away at our habits one day at a time.
MAKE AN "I CAN" LIST
Life is like a ring-doughnut. So often we only focus on the hole in the middle! It can be very easy to focus upon what we lack and not upon what we have and can do. A practical technique to overcome this habit is to make a list of everything that you can do - all the skills that you have learned throughout your life. This provides a solid, positive foundation which you can use to counter-act "fear based and negative thinking."
CONSIDER THE POSSIBLE OUTCOMES OF OUR THINKING
In Patanjali's Yoga Sutras (the Raja Yoga text book), we are helped out with the following sutras:
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
Sutra 2: 33
VITARKA BADHANE PRATIPAKSA BHAVANAM
"When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite [positive] ones should be thought of. This is pratipaksha bhavana."
One way to control negative thoughts even before the thought overpowers us is to think of its aftereffect. Stop and consider. "What will happen if I allow this thought to continue? I'll lose my friends. If the other person is strong they may not even be affected at all. She might just laugh and walk away. But even before the other person is affected by this negative thinking, I am being affected by it. It will make me ill even it affects no other person.
Sutra 2: 34
"When negative thoughts or acts such as violence, etc., are caused to be done or even approved of, whether incited by greed, anger, or infatuation, whether indulged in with mild, medium, or extreme intensity, they are based on ignorance and bring certain pain. Reflecting thus is also pratipaksha bhavana."
Suppose we bring pain to someone or cause harm to be brought to another. The reactions will come and ultimately result in ignorance and misery. We need not even cause pain directly for the reaction to occur. We can effect this just by approving of another's painbearing actions due to our own avariciousness, anger, hatred, or ignorance.
Much of the way we think and behave is linked to the conditions of our childhood. So, before we begin to give ourselves a hard time about the way we are today, I suggest we continue reading.
- Purifying the mind
- Overcoming habitual negative thinking
- Conquer the inner enemy
- Affirm the opposite
- Cognitive experiences and functions
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