Processing the Negative

  • This is one of those strange anomalies that we all know about but are blissfully unaware that we do know it.  Of course, being unaware that we know it we deny ourselves any of the benefit that this knowledge brings.  So what am I talking about?  Simply this:

    The mind cannot directly process a negative.

    Yes, yes, I know that of course the mind can process a negative, for example, someone hearing “Don’t put too much salt on your dinner” will think about not doing so.  If they see the wisdom of not putting too much salt on their dinner they won’t.  So obviously, it is possible to process that negative – Don’t do a thing, but what I am saying is that the mind cannot process it directly.  It has to think of the subject in the positive first so as then not to do it.  I can hear a lot of confusion out there!  Okay, here’s an example:

    I want you to think of a big red boat. Obviously, you thought of a big red boat straight away.  Simples!

    Now try this:

    Don’t think of a purple giraffe. Ok, hands up everyone who instantly thought of a purple giraffe!  Anyone with their hands still down is lying!  You have to think of the purple giraffe so as then NOT to think of it.  Not so simples!

    So then it’s interesting, that in our day to day lives many of us still seem to be so negative all the time.  Both thinking and behaving in a negative manner.  We are giving ourselves, our minds, twice the work to do!  THINK POSITIVE!  Not only will you gain the benefit that all that positivity brings, but you give your mind half the work to do, freeing up all that energy for better things.  Go on try it!  Purposely think positively for the day.  If you catch yourself think otherwise, re-frame it into a positive.  Have fun trying it!


1 Comment

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    April 4, 2011

    Love this blog! Had a parenting course lesson on this! Think everyone has heard themselves telling their children ” Dont do this and Dont do that!” and wondering why it isnt working!

    There was a lady at toddlers with a young child kicking and hitting his mother in temper. She kept telling him NOT to kick her. The child ignored her until one of the family support workers came over and turned to the child and said ” Use your words please to tell Mummy what you would like ” Was brilliant the child then stopped and turned to his Mum and said what he wanted!

    The negative is so much easier to use but I’m now watching what I’m saying to my children and re wording it as much as I can! Makes you feel better too!