Thinking Positively

I’ve found an effective solution to dwelling in the past: focus on the positive instead of the negative. Yes: it is easier to do this

Think: what was good about your past life even though most of it wasn’t great? A New York Times article revealed that people who rewrote their history to frame it in a positive way healed better and had better health.

Anais Nin wrote in one of her diaries: “You have the right to select your perception of the world.”

I think of this after reading an interview with Ice Cube in Rolling Stone. He founded NWA and now stars in movies. If you ask me he has a poor attitude: He in effect told the reporter: “I’m black so of course no one likes me.”

I’m not going to attack and judge a person for believing what they do. It’s just that as I read the Ice Cube interview and thought about it I realize each of us has a specific worldview. In this way the truth is always elastic depending on who’s doing the stretching.

If that’s what a person believes, it’s true for them. It’s their truth regardless of whether something really happened or didn’t happen.

I’ve been thinking about this also as it relates to stigma and how a lot of consumers perceive that stigma is pervasive and having a diagnosis is shameful because other people think they’re crazy.

I say: get over it.The more pressing concern is that blaming stigma or blaming other people–regardless of who or what you’re hating or blaming and why you’re hating or blaming–is not a healthy way to live.

The fear of stigma will hold a person back even when there’s no actual stigma.

I do wish Ice Cube would get over himself. He’ll certainly get Rolling Stone to sell thousands of copies of the magazine.

My stroke of insight was that focusing on the positive is the way to go. I have long railed against the time I spent in the community mental health system. This week when I chose to focus on the positive everything changed for the better.

Focusing on the positive–choosing to think positively–is all too rare in a society where people like Ice Cube and others make polarizing statements.

I say: find the good in your life and in other people. Keep an open mind that good people exist in the world. Take back control by deciding to focus on the positive.

If you ask me, focusing on the positive is the best use of our time and of our mental energy. To this end I will focus on the good when I post blog entries here.

I’ll branch out in this blog to write things that no traditional publisher or mainstream Internet website is going to publish. No other outlet wants to publish what I write because there’s nothing shocking or sensational about what I propose.

I’ll start by writing about right here right now because today more than ever it’s a great time to be living in recovery.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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