Habitual Negativity

I was wondering whether I could drop my “negativity habit” and develop a “positive practice” instead. Well it’s been a week and I thought I’d report my initial findings.

First off, I was questioning whether “negativity” was simply a habit I could dump. Basically I’d have to recognize when my mind’s swirling with gloom and use discipline to stop it. That’s something I typically do nowadays and it’s kinda doable. The problem with that, is it’s an endless game of whack-a-mole – just slapping down pessimistic ideas multiple times every hour. So the more relevant question is this: can the initial negativity be replaced and prevented altogether?

Essentially, I need to make a habit of positivity. I need to get my mind so used to thinking good-thoughts, that pleasantness becomes the default. As it is, my mind just spews trash all day and night. Instead of that, I want a mind that wanders pleasant paths, one that bathes in creativity, presenting enjoyable projects to work on, one that appreciates the world it lives within, one with a lighthearted attitude that always finds the fun.

As initially suspected, developing a positive practice IS a lot of work. When I catch myself steeped in negativity, I stop and say “Okay, the concepts you’re currently considering are what you DON’T want. Now, what is it you DO want, think THOSE thoughts.” Then, I have to sort through my thoughts and focus on the ones that suggest creativity, appreciation, or lightheartedness.

For example, “Hm, what do I want to draw the next time I go sketching? Hm, maybe some fantasy creature with a cool outfit.” Another example: “Wow, this incense that’s burning smells really good. Whoa, haven’t heard this song in awhile, it’s great.” And as the last example: “Ha, I just remembered my friend laughing so hard at dinner tonight, I had her in stitches!”

At this time, after a week of this practice, I believe it IS worth continuing this experiment.