In Defence of Positive Thinking
by Vera Peiffer
it now over ten years ago that I first wrote Positive
Thinking. It is still a best-selling book, and people from all over the
world write to me, saying that it helps them cope with problems and difficult
life situations more constructively. On the other hand, there are others who
tell me that positive thinking could not possibly work with all the problems we
are facing today and that it is just a way of escaping reality.
is true that a lot has changed in the world we all live in since the late 80s.
Technology has made giant strides forward, to an extent which few of us could
have foreseen. Technology has become simpler and more affordable,
and it has totally and entirely changed the way we live and work. These
changes are enriching, but they are also speeding up the pace of
life, and there are lots of factors today that can make you feel you are
drowning in demands made on you. These demands can come partly from your
immediate environment such as employers, family and friends, but they also come
from within yourself. Quite naturally, we want to prosper and we want to lead a
fulfilling life, so we will make every effort to succeed, and there is nothing
wrong with that. It is, however, important that we make sure we do not spin into
I am very conscious through my work with clients that, in a strange way, the pressures on them are made worse by their growing awareness that stress is detrimental to their health. They are not only stressed by their multiple tasks of earning a living, looking after the children and /or keeping a household running, but they also feel they need to eat more healthily, stop smoking and cram an exercise class or a session with a relaxation tape into their already over-brimming schedule. And if they can’t manage it, they feel guilty, which makes them feel even more stressed ...
this is not where the problems stop. The pace of change we experience today also
brings with it a sense of dislocation. Whereas in the past we could feel a
certain amount of security and stability when it came to our work, our marriage,
our environment and our future, now everything seems to be up in the air. These
days, the newspapers are full of reports of company mergers where thousands of
people lose their jobs or have to retrain every year. Employers expect
flexibility, and if there are no jobs where you live, you will have to move. The
whole job scenario has changed, and more people than before are now working on a
self-employed basis. This is because employers today prefer to subcontract work
or farm it out to freelancers who can be called in as and when the need arises.
This may be an advantage for people who like working for themselves, but many do
not and are struggling with having to make a living without a regular monthly
income. We no longer feel we ‘belong’ to a particular place of work, and we
certainly can no longer be sure that we will do the same work we are doing today
in five years’ time.
then there is the environment. The food we eat and the water we drink is no
longer safe. All the additives which preserve food for a longer shelf life and
the fertilisers and pesticides which ensure a bigger and better crop now turn
out to be bad news. Hormones, metals and chemicals which cannot be filtered out
of our tap water have detrimental effects on our health, the extent of which we
are only beginning to understand now. Whole species of animals and plants are on
the verge of extinction. The predicted and previously frequently ridiculed
notion of global warming affecting our climate has now begun to spin into action
in the form of storms and floods. There are already movements all over the UK
and worldwide who strive to tackle these issues, but more needs to be done if we
want to make further progress. It can be hard to move collective apathy, and it
is therefore important that as many individuals as possible get actively
involved in the process of positive environmental changes.
It would be easy to think that it is all too late and that there is nothing we can do, but let me assure you: there are solutions. Every big change starts with a small change. In order to affect our environment positively, we need to start with sorting out our personal life. As we work on overcoming our own problems, we become more relaxed within ourselves. This means that we are working more efficiently and more effectively. We have better ideas, more zest for life and become more interested in our environment because rather than using up all our energies to combat our inner turmoil, we have energy capacity to look at what is going on around us. As we sort ourselves out, we will also relate better and more peacefully to others. As we communicate more effectively and more calmly, we get more of what we want which makes us happier because we are content. As we are content, others around us start relaxing and feel more comfortable which in turn helps them feel better about themselves, so they can become more contented and work more efficiently. And so it goes on. This process has an amazing ripple effect: if one person gets themselves sorted out and becomes more positive, he will positively influence at least three people around him. If those three influence another three people each, the effect soon mushrooms into stunning numbers of people who relate well, work more efficiently and create a peaceful and productive atmosphere around them. This has a real impact, not just within our immediate environment but way beyond it. By improving your own attitude, you will find it easier to communicate with others. It is essential that we begin to rebuild communities again to overcome the loneliness that has become such a problem with the fragmentation of our society. It is essential that we have like-minded people in our lives, because if we want to make this world a better place and preserve this precious earth of ours for those who come after us, each of us needs to contribute and become actively involved.
Vera Peiffer holds a degree in psychology and has been in private practice as an analytical hypnotherapist since 1986. She has also trained in Thought Field Therapy and health kinesiology.
Vera is the author of a great number of books, amongst them Thorsons Principles of Hypnotherapy. She is the principal of the Peiffer Foundation and runs Positive Thinking and self-hypnosis workshops in England, Italy and Germany.
main website is http://www.uk-therapy.com/successhypnosis/.
Her other website for solutions to hair problems is at