Along With Positive Thinking, Strive for Peaceful Thinking

Filed in Stress & Anxiety by on September 3, 2015 0 Comments

As I discussed in my last post, optimism—being a “glass is half full”-type person—is a great way to be healthier and happier.

However, I also believe that peaceful thinking is important to your emotional well-being. I have found that any sort of very extreme thinking or talk, whether negative or positive, can be harmful, since mental/emotional intensity leads to disharmony and agitation.

Of course, choosing to hate something requires a great deal of emotional energy. Hating is very draining, as well as unproductive and useless.

Yet also on the flip side, as soon as you start to say you love something, such as a certain situation or activity, then by definition there must be something on the other end of the spectrum that you hate. “I just love summer!” So then what you are probably implying is that you hate winter, right? This is harmful. Allowing yourself to be euphoric often leads to an episode of extreme sadness after the situation (inevitably) changes.

Also, high intensity feelings are impossible to sustain, and often lead to the exact opposite feeling. Ask any person suffering from bipolar disorder how painful these swings in emotions can be. An extreme positive-negative approach to your thinking puts you on a roller coaster of emotions, and causes mental consternation and emotional dissonance. The expression of strong emotions might seem invigorating and life affirming, but in upsetting your peacefulness and emotional stability, it is instead quite harmful.

Here are some examples of thoughts and attitudes that run along the mood spectrum, and what type of emotional response they tend to create (agitated or peaceful):

Agitated                                 Peaceful                              Agitated

Hate                           Dislike                      Like                        Love

Terrible                           Bad                        Good                      Perfect

Depressed                        Sad                         Happy                    Elated

You might consider trying to stay within the “peaceful zone” of your emotional spectrum. You can soften your thinking and talk by choosing words that are calm and tranquil, and less filled with emotional intensity.

I will concede one important exception: you can use the thought and word “love” as it relates to individual people and other living things without any negative effects. In this particular case, rather than producing a counterbalancing hate response, it just begets more love.

About the Author ()

TIM MCINTYRE retired in 2004 from his position as president of Applied Systems after facilitating a successful sale of the company. At only forty-six years old, he made the unusual decision to fully retire to pursue other interests and simply enjoy free time. As a hard-driving Type A personality, this turned out to be a significant challenge for the Notre Dame and University of Chicago-educated MBA, CPA, and Certified Cash Manager.

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