I recently read a series of “prescriptions for misery” online. We often hear about positive thinking tips that make a lot of sense. But some of us (like me) don’t readily recognize how to shoe-horn positive thoughts into our daily lives. We don’t even realize we’re making ourselves miserable until we’re hit over the head with it. So let’s make ourselves miserable for a moment and see how it feels!
The first way we can increase our misery index is to practice negative thinking. Negative thinking is such a joy! It helps us take daily hassles and make them into catastrophes.
Of course these hassles inevitably lead us into a delightful attitude of resentment. We love reminding ourselves: I don’t deserve this! I try to be a nice person…why me? Over time and with much practice, we may discover that we become really good at something: being pessimistic. Before we know it, we feel miserable; we are miserable; we are miserable to be with.
If we want to get rid of negative thinking we cannot do it head on. We need to be more accepting of life’s hassles, more grateful to counteract our resentments, and get out of our heads and into our bodies to tip the scales from pessimism to optimism. The misery we create for ourselves is mostly through negative thinking, head stuff. The antidote to head stuff resides conveniently in our bodies. We can access the positive through focusing on our physical experience of breathing, sounds, touches, smells, and tastes. This nourishes our core and weakens the power of negative thinking. The cumulative effect is amazing. Try it and see what happens to that well-cultivated misery index we’re so proud of!
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