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Are your thoughts helpful or unhelpful?

What type of thoughts visit you and leave, which do you invite in to make themselves at home?

Positive thoughts can be unhelpful. Negative thoughts can be helpful.

Sometimes we can get tangled in a web of positive thinking, trying to fight with, challenge or push out negative thoughts. But both can be helpful or unhelpful.

Drinking a bottle of wine and having the positive thought ‘I’m a great driver I’ll be fine’ = not helpful. Same situation, negative thought... ‘I could hurt someone if I drive’ = helpful.

So rather than focus on positive or negative we can consider whether a thought is HELPFUL....

1. Does it take me closer to the kind of person I want to be?

2. Does it help me build the kind of relationships I want?

3. Does it connect me to what I truly value?

4. In the long run will it help me build a full, rich, meaningful life?

(These questions are from The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris, based on Acceptance Commitment Therapy).

If it’s helpful, listen to it. Pay attention. If not, don’t take it seriously, don’t pay much attention. Not every thought is worth your precious attention.

Yoga and meditation can help create space between observer and thought.

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©2013 by Trauma Therapy Manchester registered with CNHC accredited by International Association of Yoga Therapists.

Susi Wrenshaw is registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council. The CNHC is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care. The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSA) is the independent government-appointed body that oversees and scrutinises the work of the nine statutory medical, health and care regulators. These include the General Medical Council (GMC), the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC). Since March 2012 the Professional Standards Authority has also been able to accredit registers of health and care occupations that are not regulated by law and CNHC has successfully completed this process.

“Both the Government and the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) recommend that when a patient or service user chooses to visit a health or care practitioner who is unregulated, only those on an accredited register are consulted”. (Jane Ellison MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health, November 2015).


General Medical Council guidance to doctors confirms they can refer patients to practitioners on Accredited Registers, such as CNHC.

Information on this website is for information only and is no substitute for medical advice.