Want to discover the secret to positive thinking?

Experts say it isn’t so much what happens to us which matters but how we respond to it. Here’s how to stay positive!

‘Thoughts are like seeds. As are my thoughts, so will be my attitude and behaviour. Therefore my focus shouldn’t be so much on wrong behaviour as on the thinking which causes it.’ D Janki

Did you know that negative beliefs are the number one block to maintaining thriving health and well-being? 
Negative beliefs are not supportive and can hold you back in so many ways. What helps is knowing a bit about how beliefs work and how to put into practice tools and techniques that will help dismantle your limiting beliefs in a constructive way.

One method, which is probably one of the most widely used therapies in the world, is the rational emotive behavioural therapy (REBT) pioneered in the 1950s by psychologist Dr Albert Ellis. REBT is a practical approach to challenging beliefs using the power of our cognitive and writing skills.

Challenging your beliefs before you write will help you really tap into your inner creative resources. Negative beliefs left untapped have enormous potential to sabotage any attempts you may make in moving and progressing your writing in a productive and positive way.

Imagine your beliefs as a pair of glasses. When you wear one particular pair of glasses you see life and events from your life in a particular light. Through these lenses, no matter what is happening, you see what you view as good and positive. But through another set of glasses, the view can be far from rosy. In fact, everything is distorted with a particular meaning, which renders us powerless over our circumstances.

It’s the view of our events that can cause us harm rather than the event itself. Dr Ellis created the ABCDE model to show how our beliefs impact on our emotional responses and behaviours. 

The ABCDE model

Grab your pen and notebook, and work through the steps of the ABCDE model:

 A stands for the Activation or event that was the original or key event where you first adopted this belief.

 B stands for the Belief you have as a result of your interpretation of the event. What was your interpretation of the event and what belief did you come away with?

 C highlights the Consequences and impact this particular belief now has on your life, through your habits, thoughts about yourself and behaviours. A doesn’t cause C; it’s B that causes C, and this is where the work needs to be done.

 D is where you examine the belief much more closely and identify even the smallest of evidence that Denies, Disputes or Disagrees with your belief. It challenges what you believe to be true.

 E stands for the Effects and how you now feel as a result of changing or shifting your beliefs, as well as identifying how it feels to gain a different perspective of the old belief.

A final question to complete the model would be to ask yourself: ‘What is available to me now that I no longer hold onto this belief?’.

It’s important to see your responses in writing rather than just mulling them over in your head. Dr Ellis believes that the real work lies in the recognition that we don’t need to cling to our irrational beliefs – but it takes practice, practice and practice. Changing your beliefs is a powerful catalyst in changing the outcome: recognising that shit happens but how we view the event is what makes the difference.

Everyone has his or her good points; and weak points lead us to embed and embody self-acceptance. REBT is an easy tool to reduce emotional pain.

It may not get rid of all of your negative beliefs, but it can significantly reduce the frequency with which you allow your irrational beliefs to drive your behaviour.

Ready to make a positive change? Start today!

What are your best tips for being positive (even when everything seems to be going wrong). Join the conversation below…