From Negative to Positive Mindset

February 25, 2023 Cognitive Insights No Comments

There is no silver bullet, but two golden moves: toward and from an underlying condition that lies close(r) to the human core of deep motivation.

For instance, from chronic anger to positive action

See: from aggression to efficiency.

The following drawing shows the two moves as hollow arrows:

Energy?

With this is meant here what brings you into action ― the ‘eventual motivator,’ the reason behind the reason behind the reason that makes you do anything, including reading this text and what you will do right after. It is what drives you. Therefore, over a longer timeframe, this is about who you are.

It is rather a direction than an entity. There is no conceptual endpoint but a complex combination of (at least) many mental-neuronal patterns acting together to form your deep motivation. This is important to understand the present text as well as to understand yourself.

The horizontal line in the image shows the difference between what lies above (more conceptual) and beneath (more subconceptual) within your mind. No magic is involved, no esoteric ‘energy’ that the ego can wield one way or another ― just basic neurocognitive science brought into practice.

Solutions above the line

Positive thinking – with or without attention repositioning – aims to simply suppress/replace the top right side (angriness). The energy source stays untouched, as does the reason why it shows negatively in the first place. Time and again, research shows this has limited and often contrary effects.

A simple reappraisal aims for the dashed arrow from right to left above the line.

Depth may be involved in reappraisal, but it is not included in the concept as used by many. With no depth involved, reappraisal stays above the line and hardly has a durable effect, if any.

Two movements (made apart or simultaneously)

These are denoted by the two hollow arrows.

The first is a search for your energy (deep motivation) such as it causally underlies the negative mindset (reverse arrow, not shown in the image). As said, it is not a search for some in-depth entity to be found or revealed to you. It’s an action and stays an action ― nevertheless, a crucial one.

The second movement goes from the energy toward realizing it by turning it into some positive conceptual form, denoted in the image as positive action.

For instance, you go from anger to what is fueling your anger ― the drive (energy) to reach something meaningful (to the left) and the frustration of not getting there (three parallel bold lines in the image). From this deeper energy (meaningfulness, drive), you can look for how to realize it in healthier ways ― healthier for you and others.

AURELIS coaching & sessions of AurelisOnLine

Of course, the two movements are not straightforward. One can use much support in this. Fortunately, there is much support available, and much more to come in the form of Lisa.

Many blogs, articles, and books (see the menu) contain useful information. I’m doing my best to be as open and generous as possible. Nevertheless, the real thing needs to be experienced. There is just no way around this.

The same principle is relevant regarding other situations.

The above example Is about angriness. There are many other situations where going from a negative to a more positive mindset and action is applicable similarly.

For instance, from anxiety to feeling the meaningfulness fueling the anxiety which may be related to some vulnerability deep inside. Within this vulnerability, you may discern a sensitivity you want to keep, albeit without the vulnerability. This sensitivity lies close(r) to your core, for which you can search other ways of realization. This is, showing it without being vulnerable.

Perhaps you can find another example that applies to you. Some related to health are mentioned here, together with the (un)importance of (re)appraisals.

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