This is the first post in a series of posts that I’m going to be writing on Positive Thinking. I hope you enjoy it!!
What is Positive Thinking?
Simply stated, positive thinking is making a conscious effort to direct your mind to positive thoughts rather than negative ones.
The key takeaway behind the concept of thinking positively is that you are actively choosing to do it, which is why I emphasized the words “conscious effort.”
Positive thinking doesn’t always come naturally to people. Even people with naturally cheerful and upbeat dispositions face challenges and stress.
When we encounter challenges, negative thoughts are often the first thing that pops into our heads.
“I can’t do this.”
“I’m not good enough.”
We continue to think about the negative event over and over again. We complain. We assign blame. We lash out at others.
It’s easy to get caught in a trap of negativity. Unfortunately, once we are trapped, it is hard to escape.
The negativity continues to build and spread, impacting other areas of our lives.
Ask yourself if you want to be around someone like that — someone who practically has negativity oozing out of their pores and pulls down everyone around them.
Constant negativity not only affects yourself, it affects those around you as well.
This is where positive thinking comes into play!
By consistently making a conscious effort to direct your thoughts from negative to positive, you’ll end up happier, healthier, and more fulfilled.
What Positive Thinking Is Not
First, let me begin by pointing out that everyone faces moments of grief, stress, despair, anger, worry, etc.
These emotions and reactions to things that happen in our lives are part of being human.
The concept of positive thinking is not about pretending that these things don’t exist or that we are failures for experiencing them.
It is not about sweeping negative experiences under the rug, or letting others treat us like doormats.
It is not about us all walking around like some kind of “Little Miss Sunshine/Stepford Wives” robots that must exude false pretenses of cheerfulness at all times.
Positive thinking is simply a way to approach life’s challenges and misfortunes so that negative events/thoughts/people don’t control us or our lives.
The Power of Positive Thought
Have you ever noticed how positive people can enact positive changes within themselves and the people around them?
Other people gravitate towards them because they know they’ll benefit from the interaction — whether it’s from some encouraging words, or simply a smile directed their way.
When you begin to practice positive thinking on a regular basis, you’ll start to see the change in yourself and in those around you.
Even in moments of darkness, you’ll be able to see a glimmer of light which will help you weather the storm. You’ll be able to focus on that light and continue moving towards it.
That’s the power of thinking positively! You are using your own mind as a tool to help you cope with and overcome obstacles.
How Can I Become More Positive?
Here are 9 ways to transform your life with the power of positive thinking:
1. Think about what you want to achieve and why
Everyone has dreams and goals for their life. What are yours? Think about them. Focus on them.
When doubt about achieving a certain goal creeps in, remind yourself why you chose that goal. Was it for yourself? Your family? Others who may be less fortunate? Think about who is going to benefit from your success and use that as motivation to overcome doubt.
2. Talk to yourself out loud.
This one may sound silly, but you’d be surprised how hearing your own voice can do wonders for overcoming negative thoughts. Go ahead, give yourself that pep talk!
3. Learn to say “yes.”
If you’re the type of person that often has a knee-jerk response of “no” when confronted with new things, why not try saying “yes” for a change?
Please don’t misinterpret this. I’m not suggesting in the least to forgo boundaries and let people take advantage of you by always saying “yes.”
I’m talking specifically about being so tied down to your comfort zone that you’re too afraid or plagued by doubt to chase your dreams. Don’t be held hostage by the word “no.”
4. Drown your negative inner voice with positivity.
We’ve all been there before — your inner voice continues to point out all the negative aspects of something, over and over again. The best way to block out a negative inner voice is to replace it with a positive one.
Which brings us to the next item…
5. Look for positive things
You know the expression “Every cloud has a silver lining.” Well, start looking for that lining!
You may feel overcome by a difficult situation at the moment, but try to find a positive way forward. Better days are on the horizon even though they may be temporarily covered by clouds.
6. Be genuinely happy for other people’s success.
People with a negative mindset tend to dwell on their jealousy of others. It’s easy to continuously wonder “Why me? Why not them?” when faced with adversity.
This practice is not helpful. If you find yourself engaging in this type of behavior, stop.
Life is not a zero sum game whereby you must lose if others win.
Everyone faces hardship just as everyone experiences success.
People with a positive mindset offer encouragement during other’s hardships and sincere congratulations for other’s achievements.
7. Count your blessings.
When drowning in negativity, it’s easy to fail to see the blessings you have in front of you. You may be so consumed by anger, disappointment, or sadness that you take for granted all the good things in your life.
Take a few minutes each day to practice gratitude. Focus on the blessings that you currently have in your life.
8. Practice positive affirmations.
Affirmations provide motivation and encouragement. Use them to push you forward.
You can say your affirmation out loud (as in suggestion #2 above) or you may find it helpful to write it down on a piece of paper and then hang it somewhere you will repeatedly see it.
Why not try both?
9. Think happy thoughts.
Happy thoughts lead to happy feelings.
It’s true. Thinking about something that made you happy makes you release “happiness hormones.” This is why remembering good times and thinking of fond memories can help chase away the blues.
If you’re feeling down in the dumps, think of a happy thought (regardless of how simple) to help lift your spirits.
My YouTube video below provides some additional positive thinking tips:
Well, that brings us to the conclusion of my first post on thinking more positively.
I hope you’ve gained some insights and that at the very least it answered the question, “What is positive thinking?”
If you haven’t already done so, please download a copy of My 5 Minute Guide To Positive Thinking for more tips and suggestions!