How Optimistic Are You? 3 Ways to Dispel Negative Thoughts

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How Optimistic Are You? 3 Ways to Dispel Negative Thoughts

Adapted from Monica and Michael Berg’s Spiritually Hungry podcast. Listen and subscribe here.
November 8, 2021
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Is the glass half empty or half full? It may sound simple, but the way we view the world determines the way we experience life. The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches that when we feel happy or sad, that is the type of energy we continue to draw into our lives, which is why our consciousness is so important.

One of the major ways that we self-sabotage is through pessimistic thinking. Studies have shown that pessimists give up easier, get depressed more often, and are set up for a number of physical ailments. Optimists, meanwhile, do better in school and work and tend to lead longer and healthier lives.

We may look at other people and think that they are just naturally happier or have a better outlook on life, but in truth, it is an active decision to choose positive thinking. It can be more difficult for some people, but it is a skill that can be developed and honed with hard work.

Here are 3 ways to dispel negative thoughts:

1. Argue with your own negative thoughts. We all fall victim to negative thoughts at times. Things don’t go as planned, something happens that is beyond our control, or we make one poor choice, and everything is doom and gloom. Pessimists believe that bad events are enduring, are their fault, and will undermine everything they do. Optimists, meanwhile, think of misfortune in the completely opposite way. They believe defeat is temporary, not completely their fault, and are only confined to that one case or situation. They are unphased by defeat, seeing it as a challenge that drives them to try harder instead of a reason to quit.

When you are faced with a challenge and believe that there is nothing you can do to change the situation in even the slightest capacity, then that is exactly what is going to happen. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Pessimistic thoughts can become your belief system, influencing how you see and experience life. But when these thoughts arise, there is an opportunity to push back against them.

Often there is a battle in our head, a struggle between “I won’t” and “I shouldn’t” or “I’m in charge” and “I can’t control this.” Challenge your beliefs. In doing so, the course of actions, and therefore the outcome, will be different. You don’t have to accept every thought you have as gospel, especially the negative ones.

2. Know that your beliefs are not always based in truth. Have you ever heard someone say something terrible about you or accused you of something that simply wasn’t true? When these moments arise, we have two choices: believe these things at face value or take time to really examine them.

If someone were to tell you that you are a bad parent, for instance, you can accept that and feel horrible about yourself, or you can pause and examine the truth of the situation. Do you spend time with your children? Do you engage with them? Do they tell you that you are a good parent? It’s easier to distance ourselves from unfounded accusations when we just lay them out and think through them logically. Remember that beliefs are just beliefs and may not necessarily be based in truth.

The way we view ourselves is one of the most important works of life. It determines whether we diminish the self-sabotaging we do, allowing ourselves to have a greater experience, and therefore greater blessings in our lives.

3. Don’t suppress your thoughts - acknowledge them and move on. Each of us is made of two parts – the perfect and pure soul and the selfish ego. The soul is who we really are at our core, but the ego exists to challenge us, help us grow, and allow us to earn our blessings. All of our negative thoughts and beliefs come from the ego. When we feed into the ego, it prevents us from accessing the truth of our souls. Our work in life is to diminish negative thoughts, but the first step is to understand that they come from a place that is not our true essence. In other words, our negative thoughts aren’t really who we are.

How many times have you refused to believe a positive thought about yourself? It’s easier to believe the bad things that we hear. But you can also refuse to believe the negative things. Don’t try to fight your thoughts or suppress them. Instead, acknowledge the negative thoughts when they arise and decide not to give them any more energy or attention.

Our thoughts and beliefs are more powerful than we give them credit. A positive outlook creates a more positive, fulfilling life. Challenge your beliefs, examine your thoughts, and choose to give energy only to positivity, and you will attract more blessings into your life.

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