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Cory Muscara



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Beyond Positive Thinking

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, welcome back to

your Daily Mindfulness.

In today's session, I'm going to share

my nuanced thoughts on positive thinking.

So positive thinking is something I

do a lot of thinking about because

I know the importance of it.

It is important to have a positive

mindset, to have a growth mindset,

to be able to meet a difficult

moment and not fall into despair.

All of that can end up leading to

more anxiety and more depression.

However, there's also toxic positivity,

where we tend to overlay positive

thinking onto an experience that actually

doesn't need positive thinking, but

it needs us to feel it more deeply.

And this is what I want to point to more

specifically, that while positive thinking

can be important and can temporarily

help us move through an experience that

might be painful because we're thinking

about the future and we're getting more

excited about the future and it removes

us from what's happening in the present.

A lot of times the negative thoughts

that are moving through our mind

are not necessarily due to an acute

experience that's happening right

here or because our mind is untrained,

but rather because something deeper

beneath the surface is unresolved.

There's an unresolved emotion.

There's an unresolved trauma.

There's a difficult experience that

maybe we're going through or have been

going through the last couple of weeks

that we've just had to compartmentalize

so that we can go to work and continue

doing what we're doing, but it's

still lingering in the background.

And often those thoughts that feel

agitating or negative, again, they're

not because your mind isn't positive

enough, or it's not trained enough, but

instead there's something beneath the

thinking mind that needs to be resolved

or needs to be worked through a process.

So while positive thinking can be

important, if you find that you're using

it, but still feel agitation in your

system or the mind quickly goes back

to something negative, there may be

something you need to make space for.

And in those moments, instead

of trying to think positive,

I would drop into the body.

Notice what's here on a deeper level.

What are you feeling?

Give yourself permission to

feel what you're feeling.

You don't have to dive into all of it

if it's too uncomfortable, but take

some time to drop beneath the thinking

mind and really get a sense of what is

here that might be unresolved in me.

As you make space for that within

you, it will start to arise, but it

will also give you the opportunity to

meet it with compassion and presence.

And that's how these emotions and

these even smaller traumas start to

get resolved in our system so that

they can be released, processed,

integrated, and then let go.

Meditation practice helps with this,

of course, but I just want you to

have some of this background as you're

navigating the relationship between

positive thinking and meditation

and feeling into your experience.

There's a lot of nuance here and

hopefully this adds to how you're able

to think about it in your own journey.

Thank you for your practice.

Let's settle in for today's meditation.

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