One of my fave students (that’s not really nice to say, but even parents have favorite kids, so I’m sayin’ it) brought this recent NY Times article to my attention. It’s entitled The Power of Negative Thinking. My initial reaction was, “Oye, you know how I feel about positive thinking.” If YOU don’t know, I’m a firm believer. I believe that what you think you are you are and what you think you can do you can do.
I’m surprised to say that after reading the article my thoughts aren’t charged (punn intended) strongly in either direction. I do disagree with the commentary siting conclusions from psychologists at the University of Waterloo. Not to say that I distrust their findings that affirmations make people with low self-esteem feel worse, but I do think that people can make the positive affirmations negative. To quote the article, “…telling yourself you’re lovable is liable to provoke the grouchy internal counterargument that, really, you’re not.” People who have this reaction, I feel, essentially change the words they’re saying, but not the thought and the thought is what has to change in order to shift the feeling.
I teach a cardio class infused with positive affirmations called intenSati, In class, one of the sayings often shouted is, “I am strong”. While many times in class even MY arms and core are burning, when I am shouting “I am strong” I focus on my strength and power to keep on punching. I embrace the words as not necessarily truth, so they seem “liable”, but as a goal. It’s a redirection for me to focus on what more I have to give instead of thinking of the burning in my arms and the sweat on my brow. At the end of the day for me it’s what you’re willing to buy into. I’m going POSITiVE.
Hey, even if I’m wrong…EVEN if this whole self help, positive thinking, art of happiness thing is total crap…at least I’m smiling. I’d MUCH rather be the gal that sees the sunshine-y side of every (or most even I have my moments) situations.
I would love to hear what you think. Post your comments below.
Sending you LOVE!
I can see you GETTING FIERCE!