What is bad emotional math, and how does it apply to you?
If I were to ask you whether you tended to think more negative thoughts or positive thoughts, what would your answer be? Your manner of thinking really makes a difference in how you feel and the two are uniquely intertwined.
Positive emotions can help broaden and build constructive thinking patterns, while negative emotions can narrow your focus and overall life fulfillment.
This way of thinking and mindset, for most people, isn’t new information. It is well known that your mindset has a direct influence on your physical and emotional health, so let’s take a look at the kind of negative thinking that undermines your confidence, health, and overall sense of well-being – and what you can do to effect positive change in your thinking patterns.
Bad Emotional Math
One bad thing = All bad things
Always was = Always will be
Past = Present
Good Emotional Math
One bad thing = One bad thing
Always was ≠ Now or future
Past ≠ Present
Negative thinking will reinforce and strengthen memories of a difficult past and previous toxic thinking patterns. All of your prior learning, difficult experiences, and memories, will then affect how you perceive and interpret the present.
Consequently, if you are locked into recalling these types of memories or engaging in these kinds of thought patterns, you are preventing yourself from living fully in the present and from experiencing contented, satisfied, or happy states. Negative thinking only leaves you agitated about a painful past or anticipating a bad future with nothing to appreciate, look forward to, or celebrate.
Dealing with negative thinking is different from dealing with unpleasant feelings, though negative thinking is linked with and often generates many unpleasant feelings. Negative thinking colors the way you interpret everything else and, like the repetition it takes to learn a skill, it generally requires repeated efforts to train your brain to engage in positive thinking.
We will take another look next week at more “Bad Emotional Math” and “Good Emotional Math” equations.
This weeks action step:
Take a curious, kind, and gentle look at the way you see yourself. What do you think about? What kind of thoughts predominate? Do you notice any common themes, patterns, or trends?
Sending my best,
Dr. Joan Rosenberg
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