Positive thinking gets a bad rap these days. You may have heard it said that this kind of thinking doesn’t help because it is just thought, and doesn’t do anything tangible. You may have also heard that this way of thinking is just a fad, and it only makes you “feel good” but does not really help. You may have even heard that it actually works against you because it is not grounded in reality, and it distracts you from what you should be doing.
While all the things mentioned above may have a sliver of truth, the more complete truth is that a positive attitude is essential to making any change in your life. Let me explain. Everything in our lives is made of thought.
Everything. Now I am not saying that the tangible universe does not exist. If you stub your toe on a chair leg at two in the morning when you get up for a glass of water, you would probably be certain that the chair exists, right? But our experience of the world and the universe is completely made up of our thinking about it. In other words, the only way we can experience anything is through our thinking.
Do you see what I am getting at here? The world may be “out there”, but our experience of the world is “in here.” The world we experience is completely our thoughts in the moment. Our experience of the world is subjective. Now that does not mean that you can have positive thoughts and nothing bad will ever happen to you. I can almost guarantee that the most cheerful person in the world will still get rained on if they are in Edinburgh, Scotland in November. But here is the key point, how you feel about the rain, how you internally experience it, is up to the way you are thinking.
Look at the points I am making from another angle. If you have an event of any type, a person who has consistently negative thoughts as their way of being in life will have a very different experience than a person who has consistently positive thoughts. I am not advocating a “Pollyanna” “Everything is Roses” attitude while the roof of your house is coming off in a hurricane, but I am saying that you might want to consider the way that your baseline thoughts change the way you feel or experience everything. In other words, pay attention to what is beneath any feeling you have. After all, some psychologists believe that all emotion springs from thoughts, whether we are aware of the thoughts or not.
Obviously, “positive thinking” can mean different things to different people. This is not a one-size-fits-all world we live in. We are all unique in our experiences, which is why some people are formed with a more or less positive way of viewing the world, and others are formed with a more negative view. I am not saying that either way is bad, just that they are different ways of experiencing what is “out there” in the world.
Here is a concept that may seem radical to some: The way you think is a skill that can be changed with effort. That means, if for whatever reason you are not satisfied with the way you think, experience the world, or feel, you can work to change the way you are thinking and experiencing the world. In some cases, this can be as simple as the realization that thought matters and that you have control over the way you think. In other cases it may be that you have to put in consistent effort and self-reflection to understand the way you are thinking because so much thinking is automatic and we are not even aware of our thoughts.
So what can you do right now:
– Be aware of your thinking and use your feelings as a guide. When you have a feeling, pause and consider what thought is beneath the feeling. Where did it come from?
– Once you find the underlying thought that is beneath the feeling, ask yourself if the thought is actually valid. If it is not, wait for a better thought. Yes, wait, because a different thought that is likely more valid will come, and when it does, focus on that one.
– Practice consciously having positive thoughts. The simplest way to do this is not to try and drive out negative thoughts, but rather to focus on positive things and consider all the things in your life that you are grateful for, and the people or experiences you have had that are positive.
– Spend more time doing things that make you happy and bring you joy.
Changing your thinking to a more positive trajectory is not impossible, it just takes an awareness that it can be done, and some effort. The key point is that living life from a more positive orientation gives you the energy to make positive changes in your relationships, your health, and your work. Don’t discount the benefits of being more positive until you give it a chance.
There are numerous research studies that show that people with a positive attitude are healthier and happier. It makes sense when you think about it, If you are positive, you are more likely to make positive changes in your life. Your relationships are generally more positive, and your social network is stronger.
Small things add up when you are making changes that move your life in a positive direction.
You do not need to change everything overnight. Do one small thing and then go from there. Don’t beat yourself up if you fall back into a negative mindset from time to time. We all do, The key is to get back up and start again,
Eventually, small changes will happen and your outlook on life can change. Positive thinking can work amazing changes in the way you experience life. Why not give it a try.
If you want more about how positive thinking can change your life, get it at: https://sites.google.com/view/colewriting/power-of-positive-thinking-plr