“Think of the happiest things, it’s the same as having wings” sing the lyrics of Peter Pan’s “You Can Fly!”. In order to get to Neverland, the place where all of one’s happy little dreams come true, one has to fly on the wings of happy thoughts (and a little pixie dust). Thinking sad, scary, and negative thoughts weigh you down when you’re trying to take flight. “Flying” is a metaphor for how we can get through life, how we can truly soar.
The power of positive thinking is as much a philosophy, a psychology, a science, and a lifestyle as it has become an entire industry. From daily meditation readers to audiobooks to workshops to seminars, positive thinking reigns. People find great value in positive thinking– spiritually, figuratively, and literally.
Positive psychology is not a development or revolution in the field. It is, however, relatively new. In the late 1990’s a professor named Martin Seligman became the President of the American Psychological Association. He pushed for a movement toward positive psychology. From his presidency onward there has been a drastic increase in the amount of scientific attention paid to the power of positivity.
Writing for TheConversation.com, author Tim Lomas writes that “we can all aspire to aim higher, not merely to be free of problems, but to try and truly flourish as human beings and make the most of our all too brief lives.” That, he believes, is the value of positive psychology.
While much of psychotherapy as dominated by Sigmund Freud focuses on our “sicknesses”, positive psychology focuses on our “wellness”. Meaning, fulfillment, creation, love, belief– all the positive things that can transform our lives.
Thinking Happy Thoughts
Life is inherently dualistic. There is life and there is death, happiness and sadness, joy and grief. Living without positive thinking happens as a result of two events. One, we become consumed by negative thinking, which is typically a result of a negative experience. Two, we become complacent with hardly thinking much of anything or about much of anything. We don’t think negatively and we don’t think positively, we just keep moving through the motions of life. Practicing positive thinking requires just that; practicing. It’s a process and a development.
Most importantly, it is possible.
Recovery is possible. Through the intensive outpatient program at The Center for Life Change, you will be freed of what weighs you down. Learn to soar with us. We can’t wait to see you fly. For more information call us today at (951) 775-4000.