I am here again to spread some more notes on positive thoughts !

All of us feel shattered by events at times, but the disciplined among us not only cope, they also emerge stronger.  The positive emotions generated in us are easy to  live with and are more than welcome but the negative ones are hard to endure. While human beings are capable of deep and varying emotions, they are also mercifully blessed with the power to think.  And it is this rational part of the mind which can help to undo the damage that our emotions can do to us.

In the words of Shekspheare,  ‘There is nothing good or badbut thinking makes it so.’  This well known saying might seem very simplistic, but it is a fact that behind every emotion there is always a thought, even though we might not be consciously aware of it.  And since we can control our thoughts, the practice of thinking positively is worth cultivating. 

In other words,  we can change a disturbing emotion to a pleasant one by changing our thoughts. For example,  imagine that you are walking down a road and see a friend at the other end.  You realise that the friend has spotted you. You wave out to her but he or she takes no notice of you. The negative thought will be that he or  she has deliberately ignored you and you will experience a feeling of rejection and hurt.

But you can try to think differently by telling yourself that may be, she is preoccupied with some disturbing problem of her own and has not really noticed you.  Not only will you not feel hurt and rejected,  but you may even feel sympathy for her.

It is important to realise at the outset that while we may try to change others according to our likes and dislikes, we are unlikely to succeed. The only person we can really change is ourself,  and this change we can achieve by altering our attitudes to people and circumstances.

Anger, for instance,  is thoroughly negative emotion . Of course,  it is normal for us to feel angry sometimes,  because we are not saints but are imperfect human beings.  But one often regrets the expression of angry feelings, especially if they are impulsive.  So calm appraisal of the situation can be made which might dull the sharpness of our angry feelings, as we look at both sides of the problem.

Anger is the price we pay for someone ele’s mistakes!  Our angry feelings harm only us ( both  mentally and physically) because the target of our anger is not even aware of these destructive emotions and remains unaffected.

Another emotion that is built into us is anxiety. We find ourselves worrying  about  day-to-day things which we must do and have not done.  Worry, in fact, can help us to be real achievers. But worry can also be destructive.

We imagine the worst when it comes to matters relating to our spouses, our children or to whom we care the most. Worrying about something is far worse than the thing itself,  for our worry feeds on our imagination . Also, constant worry depletes our emotional and physical energy so that when we are faced with a major problem, we cannot cope with it as well as we could have, if we had not used up so much of our energy earlier.

When confronted with a problem that might seem insurmountable, we can distract ourselves by turning our minds to something else. Creative activities like writing or reading, especially if they are already hobbies , can be taken up at such times.

No wonder, social work has been reffered to by someone as “selfish altruism,” which may seem a contradiction in terms. We have to live with our emotions , both positive and negative, but we can nurture the positive ones while minimising the effect of the destructive ones. The extent to which we can do this will ultimately decide how well adjusted or otherwise we might be.  Our happiness or unhappiness in life will  depend largely on our ability to control our emotions by tempering them without reason!

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