Weeding out negative thoughts

Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be. - Stephen Covey

I was walking by an open lot the other day. It was covered with long grass and yellow flowers blowing in a warm breeze. Only, as you might have already guessed, they weren’t flowers - they were dandelions. They were weeds and nobody likes weeds. It made me think about the way we look at things and how we allow negative thoughts to creep into our lives like weeds.

Weeds tend to produce lots of seeds that can survive for a long time, and just when you think they’re gone, simply disturbing the ground near them may make them grow again. Just like weeds, negative thoughts can arise in the blink of an eye. Just like weeds, such thoughts can proliferate in your mental environment, choking out the flowers, the positive, optimistic thoughts that make life so much more appealing.

Focusing on negative thoughts is a bit like adding fertilizer to help the weeds grow. Unlike weeds in the garden, the best way to approach those negative thoughts is to ignore them. In fact, starve them by giving them zero attention and withhold energy that would be wasted. I know, some of you will say, this is much easier to say than do. Yes, unfortunately, it takes a bit of work. What will make the flowers in your mental garden grow is to focus on the good things - to get busy attending to, and giving your energy to the positive thoughts, to the positive actions you can take now, and intend to take tomorrow.

Dianna Campbell-Smith

Dianna Campbell-Smith is a Registered Psychologist who specializes in counselling, coaching and clinical hypnosis. She runs a private psychology practice in South Calgary, and worked previously as Director of Counselling Initiatives at Calgary Counselling Center.

Dianna is a Psychology Today verified therapist.