In order to understand constructive thinking, it is essential to understand emotions first. Many people feel that their emotions are a way in which they automatically react to circumstances. To them, an event happens, and then this event triggers emotions.
Most of these people are aware that it is possible for them to control their emotions, as well as the ways in which they express them, but most of these people feel that there is no way for them to actually stop the emotions from occurring in the first place.
For instance, when most people are treated in a manner which to them is unfair, they will react with anger. Once they become angry, they can decide whether or not they want to showcase this anger. One thing that most people don’t realize is that their emotions are affected by the manner in which they see the circumstances, not the circumstances themselves.
In this lies the basic foundation for constructive thinking. The way you think and the things you think about is the person you will become. In other words, you are what you think. Constructive thinking should be thought of as a way in which you think constructively about the world around you.
Instead of allowing yourself to react to the events that occur in your life, you will first learn to interpret these events. The key to constructive thinking is understanding that interpretations often will have an influence on your emotions.
Most people believe that emotions always come first, and then thoughts come second. When most people become angry, they will have thoughts which are aggressive. When you’re sad, you will often begin to develop thoughts which are pessimistic.
While it is true that our feelings do have an effect on our thoughts, the reality is that our thoughts shape our feelings. The distinction between thoughts preceding emotions and emotions preceding thoughts is that one is more conscious, while the other is more preconscious.
Most people are aware of their conscious as opposed to their pre-conscious, this is why we often have impressions about things which are false. But this raises the question of exactly what are interpretations? The best way to describe interpretations is that they are thoughts which are automatic, thoughts that in most cases you won’t be aware of. Despite this, they are still thoughts.
To understand the role of constructive thinking, let me give you an example of interpretation. Lets say that you’re out walking on a crowded city street, and all of a sudden, someone steps on your toe. If you "interpret" this as being a deliberate act, you may become angry.
However, if you "interpret" it as being accidental, you will be unlikely to become angry. In essence, the event which has transpired is still the same; someone has stepped on your foot. The difference is that the automatic thought you have, also known as your interpretation, is the way in which you emotionally react to the event. Some would argue that only one of these interpretations is right, while the other is wrong.
While this may be correct for some scenarios, there are many situations like this that you will encounter in your life, and for the most part, they will be ambiguous. In other words, a glass can be seen as being half empty or half full. What is most important is that you’re able to interpret an ambiguous situation in a manner which allows you to have good judgment, as well as being happier overall.
A person with constructive thinking is someone who sees the glass as being half full. They maintain a proper interpretation of the events which occur in their life. Many researchers who work in the emotional intelligence field believe we have two types of minds, one which has a wisdom that is associated with it, and our more rational mind.
Train the Experiential Mind
By taking the time to train your experiential mind, you can greatly enhance and develop your emotional intelligence. The problem with IQ is that it has been too heavily emphasized in our culture. While IQ has its role in society, it also has many limitations, and until recently these limitations were not properly addressed.
There are many other abilities which one must have in order to have a happier well being, and many emotional researchers believe that constructive thinking is one of them. Emotional intelligence has laid down the foundation for a much more effective way of thinking.