Negative Thinking vs Positive Thinking. Does “Fake it ’til you make it” Work?.

Negative thinking vs positive thinking?  Negative thinking often plagues folks in a relentless manner. Once they get going, it can have a cascading-type effort, leading to stronger negative thinking. This is both reinforcing and repeating the negative pattern and styles of thinking.

positive thinkingHow do you then stop this run away train? Well, it is doable, but also easier said than done. Consider this as a general strategy to slow and stop these negative thoughts from building and growing.

Generally, it is going to take a number of small, deliberate efforts to slow down the negative thinking patterns.  Most folks have already tried to simply ignore the negative thinking. And most folks have likely already found that it doesn’t work. In fact, this ‘ignore it’ strategy might even makes those negative thoughts worse!

To begin to slow this whole pattern down, start by using some basic Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, techniques.  Specifically, using the CBT ‘dysfunctional thought record’ tool to begin recording thoughts, feeling and behaviours. This tool help you take a ‘student’ or ‘observer’ type of position with the thought. You are doing this to more expose, and then challenge the legitimacy and credibility of the thoughts themselves.

It should also be noted that in using these CBT techniques, there is a quality of fake-it-til-you-make-it when starting the process of disputing and litigating your negative thoughts.  The alternative and balanced thoughts that you will be using in challenging the negative thoughts will initial seem artificial and formulated.  Keep in mind that this will time, effort and repetitive practice, akin to the process of learning a new language,. The alternative and more balanced thoughts will begin to take more shape and become more a fabric in your everyday experiences over time.

Lastly, research also shows that ‘Fake It Til You Make It’ works particularly well using body type relaxation exercises. That is, what you can do in the body can show up in your mood. For example, research shows that faking a smile actually improves your own mood, cheering you up, and relaxing the physical body can slow down one’s thoughts.

So, in the end, smile, and fake it because you will make it when you stack the deck with multiple small positive practices and behaviours to turn the negative thinking patterns upside down and inside out.