Learn to think positively

Learn to think positively
Learn to think positively

Let's try to figure out if negative thoughts and words affect the way we live.

Learn to think positively

Now is a difficult time. Over the past few weeks, I have repeated this phrase countless times - at work, at home, in the country, visiting friends. And every time these words turned out to be the beginning of a long conversation about the fact that our world is heading nowhere, that you need to change your life, that anxieties and fears are literally poured into the air. Therefore, the offer to stop complaining for at least one week left me at a loss: what to talk about then? But in the depths of my soul, I myself agreed that a person’s life largely depends on himself. And trying to let go of negative thoughts and words is a generally painless and, more importantly, free way to change your life

Day One

50 complaints per hour

Two times I complained before I even got out of bed: the weather outside is disgusting, and again I did not get enough sleep. She complained four times while preparing breakfast for her husband and daughters, and fifteen more times while collecting the girls for school. And that's not counting the mournful moans when I ran around the apartment, trying to find the keys, and the children, already in raincoats and boots, were waiting for me at the door and fought between times. A University of Louisville psychologist whose article I read on the Internet the night before says complaining about a hard life is one of the best ways to connect with strangers. And the more people get together, the more often they complain. For example, at a bus stop, you can hear up to 50 complaints per hour, that is, one complaint every minute. Well, on the first morning of the experiment, I complained about as often as a crowd of people at a bus stop. Great start!

The girls had to be bribed. I promised them a thousand rubles at the end of the week, but for each negative statement I promised to deduct a ruble from this amount. Since the kids whine even more often than I do, there was no doubt that at the end of the week they would be indebted to me.

The same psychologist wrote that negative statements can be not only a reason for rapprochement, but also spoil people's relationships with the same success. When you moan in the morning that you didn’t get enough sleep, are tired and want to go on vacation, loved ones often take it all personally. And they think that it is because of them that you get tired and go to bed too late. Not too nice, right?

That is, apparently, the point is not only in the words that we pronounce, but also in why we do it. The phrase "Something got colder again", uttered to get to know new neighbors, is a great option. And “Well, it’s cold again. What are we going to do on the weekend?" - may be offensive to her husband: it means that you are bored with him and you don’t know what to do?

In the evening, a friend calls me with amazing news: our mutual friend, who is famous for her ability to eat and drink at someone else's expense, was fired from her job! At another time, I would love to talk about all the nasty things that we had to endure because of a fired friend, but here I just say: “I hope she gets settled somewhere soon.” A friend is worried: “Are you sick? Did something happen to you? Can't speak? Having learned about the beginning of the experiment, he is surprised and tries to talk about something pleasant. After two minutes the conversation ends.

Conclusion: if this goes on, my friends will start to think I'm a bore, because talking to each other only pleasant things is terribly boring.

Day two

Negative Triangles

The girls got up at 7.30 and started Saturday morning by making their own pancakes. This was followed by a violent quarrel over who should wash the dishes, the floor, the sink, the table and chairs, which were soiled in the cooking process. From my room, I listened to their cries: "Vreda!" - "It's all your fault!" - "You always make me clean!" - "Stupid!" But she didn't interfere.

Because when you interfere in the conversation of people who sort things out, you create a "negative triangle". That is, you create a situation where two quarreling people start complaining to you and involve you as a judge.

After ten minutes, the girls made peace and went to their room to watch TV, then the nightmarish consequences of non-intervention appeared before me in all their glory. A sink full of dirty dishes, a broken egg on the stove, smeared in small doses on all horizontal surfaces. Of course, I couldn't help speaking. After I stopped being indignant and the dishes were washed, my 11-year-old daughter Dasha went into the room, closed herself from the inside and sent angry text messages to her school friends for half an hour. And 8-year-old Ksyusha was plaintively scratching under the door.

Surely the psychologist and the author of the theory of "negative triangles" would be dissatisfied, but I understand perfectly well: if the girls did not complain to their friends about their parents, they would grow up as patients of this very psychologist. By the way, moms who never complain to their friends about girls and their dads will go straight to the same doctor.

Conclusion: maybe sometimes it's better to create a "negative triangle" in time to prevent even more negative consequences.

Day four

Silence is golden

Psychologists say it takes at least three weeks to get used to positive conversations and thoughts. But it seems that in my case, the only way to avoid negative comments is to just keep my mouth shut.

I was silent when Ksyusha remembered at the last minute before leaving for school that she had physical education today. And she didn't answer Dasha when she made me happy in the elevator that tomorrow she needed a small Oxford dictionary in English. Which means I have to make it to the bookstore after work. I just nodded, that's all.

When I got to the office, my husband called. His mother's cat is ill, and in the evening he needs to take his mother and the cat to the vet, and the husband will not be able to take the girls to the pool by half past seven. But maybe he will have time to pick them up.

Positive psychology says that if you let go of the situation and hope for the best, then there will certainly be some kind of opportunity. Since my chances of taking the girls to the pool were almost zero, I decided to do just that. At lunchtime, the mother of Dasha's classmate called me and asked if I would mind if she and Dasha invited the girls to their place after school, and then they all went to the pool together? My God, what happiness! Of course I won't mind!

My husband did not have time to fetch the kids to the pool, and I had to go there myself. At the door I met the mother of Dasha's classmate. “Have you noticed how terrible traffic jams are today?” she asked. Traffic jams in Moscow are not even a complaint, it's just a favorite topic for discussion. There is not a single person in the city who would refuse to support this topic. Except me. Instead of ardently joining the discussion, I indifferently say: "I think everything is as usual." My interlocutor was clearly upset, and I left completely upset. She helped me out so much, and I offended her, not wanting to keep the conversation about traffic jams.

Husband arrived at 11 o'clock, tired and angry. He lay down in bed, covered himself with a blanket and snored. And I lay next to him, listened to his snoring and suffered: should I wake him up or not? If you wake me up, then I will probably say something negative, and if you are silent, then it is unlikely that you will be able to fall asleep quickly. And my heart was so sad that I really wanted to send positive theories to hell.

Conclusion: I don't know if the expressed negative thoughts ruin my life. But it is a fact that unspoken negative thoughts spoil life.

Day five

What about the money?

In the evening my husband and daughters and I watched a movie. We ordered pizza home, cooked popcorn and washed it all down with the most harmful carbonated drinks. The film was a sequel to a great family comedy that we really enjoy. The second part turned out to be so stupid that even the girls offered to turn it off in about thirty minutes. Husband said: “Sucks! Wasted money! Of course, I looked at him very sternly (after all, negative conversations are prohibited!), but I did not say anything (after all, negative conversations are prohibited). As a result, we sat at the table in silence, chewing pizza, drinking cola, which we forgot to close with a lid and from which bubbles came out during the viewing, and were silent.

And you know what? This is where my patience came to an end. I have a great attitude towards the science of psychology in general and individual psychologists in particular, but why can't I say out loud what I think? Even if I'm thinking of something not too positive?

When my grandmother was seriously ill and literally dying in her arms a few years ago, I never complained. The girls were still very young, we all lived together in an ordinary three-room apartment, and the whole house rested on me. Then it was clear to me that there was no one to rely on, and, biting my lips, I did what needed to be done. No one heard from me during this time a single complaint, because this is life, and it was necessary to cope with it. That is, my own experience shows that in critical situations I pull myself together and do not whine. So, maybe when I complain in non-critical situations, it's just a necessary release for me? And who knows what's worse - constantly complaining about a hard life or being silent about what worries you and thinking about it all day long?

After all, what's wrong with admitting: yes, the movie is terrible?! Refrigerator broke down because it was repaired in bad faith? You have every reason to be dissatisfied. Did your 11-year-old daughter forget that she needs a dictionary tomorrow? Maybe once it is worth not buying what she needs so that she gets a remark from the teacher and in the future she does not forget about important things. Talk about traffic jams? And why not!

I put my glass down on the table and said, “The movie is shitty! And cola without bubbles tastes terrible, let's pour it out. I think my whole family breathed a sigh of relief. The children asked: “But what about the money?” After consulting with my husband, we decided that the children honestly earned their thousand rubles by participating in the experiment.

Day Six

Welcome back!

I woke up and said everything I think about the need to get up on the alarm clock. She scolded the girls for the fact that they, as usual, do everything at the last minute. She commented on the impeccable taste of her husband, who wore a brown suit with blue socks. And finally, I felt like myself. Excuse me, dear readers and editorial staff, I failed the experiment! I prefer to be free to talk about what I like and don't like. I prefer to laugh, cry, swear and enjoy life - in a word, express the emotions that overwhelm me, without regard to psychologists. I wish you the same.

You will succeed

Although in general the theory of positive and negative conversations has not stood up to my test in practice, I will use some ideas.

1. When a problem arises, speak calmly and kindly. And then people will be ready to meet you. 2. If possible, do not interfere in other people's conflicts and do not create "negative triangles". But, if the situation itself requires your intervention, it must be done.

3. Phrases: "Well, the weather!" or “Today’s terrible traffic jams” are not complaints about life at all, but simply an opportunity to start a conversation with others. After all, these topics are of concern to everyone, aren't they?

4. There is no need to force yourself to be silent when something unpleasant happens. But you can look for positive moments in events. For example, like this: after work I will have to run to the store for a dictionary for my daughter, but at the same time I can buy an interesting book for myself. Otherwise, when would I get out to the bookstore!

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