Positive Thinking versus Mindfulness and Mindset

Why positive thinking doesnt always work and mindfulness and mindset does.

I used to be a positive thinker, setting goals and reciting positive affirmations over and over and that was great … for a while.

Positive thinking can only get you so far.

Vipassana Meditation or Mindfulness has helped me to embrace living life in the moment – all the moments.

Vipassana means to see things as they really are.

Negative thoughts, feelings and emotions don’t decompose when I bury them, they keep coming back like a sticky fly that won’t go away.

Trying to change them into something positive and wonderful is denying my natural humanity. It’s normal to have angry, loving, sad, happy, fearful, joyful thoughts and feelings. It’s great to have a good day and it’s normal and OK to have a bad day.

I have learnt to allow and accept my thinking mind, it’s OK to have thoughts from the past and projections to the future but I don’t have to live there. Life, right here, right now is where I want to be.

With self-acceptance comes self-compassion. I have days, a few days of every month where I can’t face the world. No amount of positive spin is going to make me feel like a super model on a fat day! Do I beat myself up for that? No, of course not, if I need to flop on the couch with a box of chocolates then that is what I do and I do it with kindness and compassion.

I see Mindset and Mindfulness as being a complimentary match. Mindset says set the goals, work on them each day, accept the ups and downs, what works, what doesn’t, review and adjust where necessary.

Mindset allows for vulnerability and its through being vulnerable that I learn life’s lessons. It’s brave to be vulnerable.

The language we use is very powerful too “I have”, “I am”, “I choose” are words that relate to the present whereas “I will” implies sometime in the future.

Living life mindfully, being present and aware lets me accept things as they really are and there is so much freedom in the realization that I don’t need fixing.

 

Image courtesy Chris Ensey – UNSPLASH

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