Why em I so negative? how do i be positive?

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Why em I so negative? how do i be positive?

Postby Pebble » Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:47 am

I've began noticing that I am a very negative person, i always feel down, never smile, seem depressed and morbid. Maybe its why people stay away from me too and i have little friends. Most of the day I spend thinking about how bad and unlucky my life is, how I cant find a job and don't have money. I complain to my friends and people on the internet, even people on the street about how bad things are.

I know people who are VERY positive, there is a girl I know that ALWAYS has a smile on her face, always optimistic about everything, she is full of happiness and joy. I am naturally drawn to her because her aura is so positive. I wonder how people are like that, were they like that all their lives or did they learn to be, and can I learn to be that way?

I want to be like that, I want to stop emitting darkness and start emitting light!!!
We are like pebbles on the beach, constantly being hit by waves of Samsara...yet pebbles don't struggle
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Re: Why em I so negative? how do i be positive?

Postby Guy » Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:27 am

Hi Pebble,

Pebble wrote:I've began noticing that I am a very negative person

There is no such thing as a "negative person". You might be a person who experiences negative thoughts and emotions, but these are just thoughts and emotions. Don't own them, don't identify with them, don't "become" them.

I might believe I am a negative person and because of that belief I expect myself to behave negatively. Because of that expectation I live up to that and act negatively. Then because I act negatively I start thinking "I am a negative person". If I believe that thought then it can become a vicious cycle. If I am mindful I can see this process taking place and not get caught up in it.

Having said this, however, mindfulness and meditation are not a "cure for everything". It may be the case that some professional help is needed.

i always feel down, never smile, seem depressed and morbid.

It is important to differentiate between just feeling a little down and clinical depression. Feeling down is something everyone experiences from time to time and is nothing to be concerned about, but if it is clinical depression then I would advise seeking professional help. If in doubt, it is best to see a specialist.

Maybe its why people stay away from me too and i have little friends. Most of the day I spend thinking about how bad and unlucky my life is, how I cant find a job and don't have money. I complain to my friends and people on the internet, even people on the street about how bad things are.

Perhaps some volunteer work would be beneficial for you. This could be beneficial in several ways:
1) You are giving your time to help others which can be very rewarding in its own right
2) You are less focused on your self and therefore less concerned about your problems
3) The experience may make you more attractive to employees and therefore help you get a job

I know people who are VERY positive, there is a girl I know that ALWAYS has a smile on her face, always optimistic about everything, she is full of happiness and joy. I am naturally drawn to her because her aura is so positive. I wonder how people are like that, were they like that all their lives or did they learn to be, and can I learn to be that way?

Yep, its a skill you can learn. I used to be quite anti-social, I never quite knew how to relate to other people since I was always so self-focused. I am still more of an introvert than an extrovert now, but I am a lot friendlier when I am around other people. This comes with practice. Metta (loving kindness) meditation is particularly useful in this regard. If you want I can give you some links on how to develop the skilful intention of loving kindness.

I want to be like that, I want to stop emitting darkness and start emitting light!!!

Awesome, you have taken the first step in the right direction already. Wanting to replace our bad habits with good habits is the first step towards doing so.

With Metta,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: Why em I so negative? how do i be positive?

Postby Annapurna » Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:54 am

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/
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Re: Why em I so negative? how do i be positive?

Postby altar » Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:32 am

In Buddhism compassion and loving-kindness are recommended however positive thinking is not.
It's not unusual to have negative thoughts, thoughts of ill-will.
Positive thinking, to me, and as per the link supplied by Annapurna, has the connotation not merely looking on the bright side, but actually on insisting that something good is going to happen. The difference between these two things, thinking on the bright side versus insisting that something good will happen, is like someone who enjoys the cadence of thunder despite the danger, versus someone who thinks, "oh, it'll stop raining any minute!"
Looking on the bright side is recommended by some as a method to develop loving-kindness, and in fact is spoken of in the suttas as a product of loving-kindness, as "the beautiful." However wishful positive thinking is not. One thing that I have used to develop a more normal and less negative frame of mind is to take others at face value a little more. And one thing that has helped me to do this is to be more open to different people. And something that has helped me to do this is generosity. So I'm not sure my help is the best but this is kind of how I'm dealing with it at the moment.
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Re: Why em I so negative? how do i be positive?

Postby Shonin » Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:50 am

Positive thinking can lead to a kind of self-deception in my opinion, where we suppress and deny all consciousness of negative thoughts and feelings.
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Re: Why em I so negative? how do i be positive?

Postby Annapurna » Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:46 am

Shonin wrote:Positive thinking can lead to a kind of self-deception in my opinion, where we suppress and deny all consciousness of negative thoughts and feelings.


I think you have shown us one side of the coin, and I will show the other, because the OP asked for "how do I be more positive"?

Negative thinking is a self limiting and handicapping deception about oneself, where we suppress and deny all consciousness of positive thoughts and feelings.


Hi, Pebble. Positive thinking a is about annihilating negative self concepts by using positive concepts as a remedy, because negative thinking is a form of illness or unwellness of the mind, and can be, or result in, depression.

We can treat depression with medication, but it is better, imo, to enable the mind to cure itself by removing the veils of self-limiting concepts.


Negative thinking is: "I applied for so many jobs....it will be useless to try again...I'm a loser...I just can't advertize myself right..... I will stay unemployed..... I will go bankrupt...which woman wants a loser like me...I'm in a hopeless situation.....I need to drown my misery in intoxicants....I'm too restless to meditate...



Positive thinking is: " I will write 200 more applications and more, and see what happens....... I'm sure that somebody needs what I've got to offer.....I will sell my skills in a better way now and that way a boss will trust me....then I will have more money.... I will be able to pay off my debt..... I will be a safe partner for a woman and able to support my family....... I have many options, and I will take advantage of each of them, instead of resigning and getting drunk...I am so calm after having given my best, that I can peacefully recover in meditation....


Which attitude do you think will lead to more success and happiness ?

Bets wishes,

Annapurna.
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/
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Re: Why em I so negative? how do i be positive?

Postby Shonin » Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:22 am

Pebble wrote:I want to be like that, I want to stop emitting darkness and start emitting light!!!


Instead of rejecting your experiences or trying to escape from them, turn towards them with an attitude of detached, gentle curiosity - the same attitude with which you regard the breath during mindfulness of breath meditation - allowing all your experience to be as it is, seeing any judgement for what it is, seeing thoughts not as facts, not as your self, but as passing events in the mind; allowing experiences to arise and pass without obstruction; seeing that with awareness you can choose how to respond to negative or stressful thoughts or feelings, rather than reacting automatically.

In other words, practice mindfulness. That's my suggestion anyway.
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Re: Why em I so negative? how do i be positive?

Postby Shonin » Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:58 am

Do you think you might be depressed?
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Re: Why em I so negative? how do i be positive?

Postby Hoo » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:52 am

Hi Pebble,

I hope you are finding some useful info and tips above. My experience with Buddhism is that learning about it and beginning to practice made all the difference. Didn't happen overnight, mind you, but I could see change happening along the way.

These days I meet the day with a kind of gentle smile instead of the old frown, if you know what I mean. So don't give up on trying to do it differently. If I could move from negative anger to a more positive way, you should be able to move from your negative to a more positive way. In fact, thats the direction Buddhism points to, IMHO, "liberation." In my experience, liberation is a "now" thing that happens along the way and gets better as my practice gets better. But you don't have to wait for the next life, or some such.

With Metta,

Hoo
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Re: Why em I so negative? how do i be positive?

Postby Wind » Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:56 am

I think the mind will be more balance if you place your focus more on Right View in terms of the 4 Noble Truths. When I start to view things as simply conditioned states and see things as they are, I become less attach to how they affected me. Therefore, negative thoughts slowly dwindle away. And then when I cultivate wholesome thoughts of loving-kindness to all beings, I feel the day is a bit brighter. Overtime, as you develop more insights, your mind will transform into a healthier mind with less effects from negative thoughts. It is not a quick process but a journey of cleansing the mind, so don't expect things to change overnight.

Also, it helps to be around good company. As you mentioned about the girl who is full of joy. Be around people like that and it will slowly rub off on you too. Also be around very wise people. They can help you clear your thoughts and set things in proper perspectives.
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Re: Why em I so negative? how do i be positive?

Postby Goedert » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:38 am

Pebble wrote:I've began noticing that I am a very negative person, i always feel down, never smile, seem depressed and morbid. Maybe its why people stay away from me too and i have little friends. Most of the day I spend thinking about how bad and unlucky my life is, how I cant find a job and don't have money. I complain to my friends and people on the internet, even people on the street about how bad things are.

I know people who are VERY positive, there is a girl I know that ALWAYS has a smile on her face, always optimistic about everything, she is full of happiness and joy. I am naturally drawn to her because her aura is so positive. I wonder how people are like that, were they like that all their lives or did they learn to be, and can I learn to be that way?

I want to be like that, I want to stop emitting darkness and start emitting light!!!


Hello friend,

Maybe your pursuit for happiness made you a little confused.

Think about this things:

There is people that don't have a good health, you have and can achive anything in your life with proper effort;
There is people that die from famine in many places, you don't have that kind of misarable life;
You here the precious dhamma of The Blessed One, even if you find this human life insatisfactory, practice de dhamma to achive one of the heavenly realms. Actually if you don't believe with the buddhist cosmology, there is many benefits if you be a good and positive person, the good things will happen and follow you like your shadow.

But how can you do this things?

1st. Try to read one item of the dhammapada when you feel shy;
2nd. Cultivate metta meditation, first for yourself, then expand it to others.

Actually try to find a job that make you help people, the best thing in this miserable life is to help others, make them happy.


Helping others you help yourself,
Helping yourself you help others.
Inevitable, you find good fortune and bliss.
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Re: Why em I so negative? how do i be positive?

Postby Annapurna » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:52 am

:goodpost:
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/
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Re: Why em I so negative? how do i be positive?

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:38 pm

set up the conditions for positive thinking to happen
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Why em I so negative? how do i be positive?

Postby Nibbida » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:56 pm

It's a very good point about not ignoring or suppressing negative thoughts and emotions. But it's also equally important not to over-emphasize them, to ignore or suppress positive ones. There is evidence that an appropriate balance (3:1 to 11:1) of these are essential to well being:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positivity ... vity_ratio
http://www.positivityratio.com/

This ratio is not a static thing, but a balance that can be shifted. This is similar, if not identical, to "Right Effort" where one seeks to prevent and reduce negative states of mind (5 Hindrances) and increase and prolong positive states of mind (7 Factors of Awakening).

Here are some good talks by teachers on balancing emotion:

Gloria Taraniya Ambrosia - Where's The Joy In Practice?
http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/76/talk/2498/

Christina Feldman - Gladdening The Heart
http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/44/talk/2742/

Arinna Weisman - Cultivating Joy
http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/26/talk/9020/
"Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise." --Thomas Jefferson

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Re: Why em I so negative? how do i be positive?

Postby Wind » Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:28 pm

Goedert wrote:the best thing in this miserable life is to help others, make them happy.


Helping others you help yourself,
Helping yourself you help others.
Inevitable, you find good fortune and bliss.


So true friend. So true...
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Re: Why em I so negative? how do i be positive?

Postby phil » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:11 pm

Hi, I think it's good to remember that to have been born in the human realm (and especially with responsiveness to the Buddha's teaching) is proof of very good kamma at work. You have a real treasure - human birth! This is not just a nice notion, it is a clear teaching of the Buddha. You are a forunate person with great conditions for developing understanding of Dhamma in a way that will help you and help you help others. Very fortunate! :smile:

Metta,

Phil

p.s I find that reflecting that all the people I come across whether they are nice to me or not are in fact very worthy beings by virtue of their human birth is very helpful. I think this designation of the human realm as superior to the animal realm, for example, is a bit tough to swallow for some of our more new-agey fellows, but it is a clear teaching of the Buddha. We have earned a real treasure, now it's time to protect it and develop it.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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