“The person who sends out positive thoughts, activates the world around him positivity, and draws back to him, positive results.”
~Norman Vicent Peale
Dispute Negative Thinking – A Positivity Exercise
Start with a set of index cards. On these cards write your most typical negative thoughts. Thoughts such as “I hate work”, “Mary mistreats me”, “People are mean”. Write them down on these cards. Put them away for a few days. Then later come back and read the first card. Now as if you were on the debate team in school, dispute the idea by pulling it apart in the most positive way. “Well, does Mary really mistreat me?”. “I’ve seen her happy a number of times, and when she is, she has always treated me with kindness. Maybe she is having a tough time right now. Maybe she is going through a difficult period in her life. I wonder if I could be a friend to her. And help her.”
What’s important is to capture your inner critic and then really question whether the inner critue is truly correct. Are the negative thoughts serving you. Are they correct. Or are they skewed. If so how? Question these thoughts on paper. Read the negative thought cards out loud, one by one. And then dispute them out loud. Act as if you were a brilliant attorney in a court room. Get to the bottom of the real truth. Work your way through the negativity deck one card at a time. Become a solid disputer with each card, whenever you find negativity undercutting the beautiful sunshine of your mind. Get it on the cards and dispute it sometime later. It maybe the most important exercise you’ve ever done. It will at the very least make you a happier person. And when yoiu become happier, imagine the beautiful sunshine that will be reflected back your way.Exciting idea! Isn’t it?
Exercise idea taken from Positivity by Barbara L. Fredickson, Ph.D. and the University of Pennsylvania Postive Psychology Center.