Have you noticed that it seems much more natural for people to be negative than positive? I know, this is a negative way of thinking about people; I just can’t help it but notice it in myself and most of the people.
It’s much easier for us to complain about things, to criticize and see what’s problematic in situations than to praise, appreciate and be grateful for what’s around us. Complaining has become a favorite past time among us Pinoys. It makes a convenient ‘small talk’.
We are so used to negative thinking that it has become our default way of thinking. It gets in the way of our personal development, maturity, mood and general sense of well-being. We don’t realize that it’s affecting our own way of living, our lifestyle, our relationships and livelihood.
I have observed this in my self. When I allow myself to see and think about every single fault in the people and situations around me, I would feel generally unhappy, which in turn would affect my relationship with family members and co-workers. Most of the time, it also affects their own thoughts.
When I began to realize the power of my mind, that it is the creative power behind the way I perceive things and the way I live, I had to make a conscious effort to shift to a positive way of thinking.
Positive thinking is not the same as naive thinking. Being naive is thinking that every single mistake is going to turn out positive. Being naive is thinking that every single person we meet has only good intentions. Being naive is allowing other people to take advantage of us.
Positive thinking is a conscious effort to view ourselves with high esteem. It is a choice to bring out our strengths and lovingly work on our weaknesses. It is a choice to appreciate, support and encourage the positive characteristics of those around us, especially the people we love. It is a conscious mental effort to appreciate our past and current circumstances in life while also seeing that the future has much in store for us, that the future is for us to make. It is a decision to be happier.
Sounds like a big leap? Not really. The good thing about positive thinking is that our little efforts can go a lot. It’s like planting seeds, which then grow into trees with time, if you consistently nurture them. You can do this quietly as it all starts with your mind.
10 things you can do to shift to a more positive way of thinking
1. Make a digital vision board on your mobile phone or tablet.
The simplest way to do a digital vision board is to google for photos, symbols and texts that represent what you want in life. Put them all in a slide and save the slide as jpeg or PNG file on your phone or tablet so that you can look at it daily or whenever and wherever you feel like it. Before you look at your vision board, open your heart, set aside any doubt in your mind and try to feel happy even for just a little while. Look at all the elements in your vision board and believe that you have each one of them. This w
Here is a sample of a powerful vision board…
Prayer is a certain mental attitude, a certain way of thinking, a certain way of believing… the answer to prayer is in the prayer when it is prayed…. Prayer is its own answer.
- Ernest Shurtleff Holmes, The Science of Mind
Pray for a positive mental attitude. Ask for more faith in your heart. Give thanks to God everyday.
3. Be grateful.
Say thank you not only to God but to all those who do you a favor, give you a compliment (no matter how small), give a gift, praise, support, love etc. Say thank you for your pet, your food, your education, your parents or whatever. Find something to be grateful for everyday.
4. Get enough rest and sleep.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that people tend to get irritable when exhausted or deprived of sleep, so do get enough rest and sleep yourself. Don’t burn yourself out. Don’t overextend your body by depriving it of sleep.
Scientific studies have proven that exercise has a positive effect on not only our physical health but also on our mental well-being. Dance, walk, jog or whatever. A five-minute workout is better than nothing at all. The key to exercising is just do it.
6. Read books, articles, blogs on positivity everyday OR watch motivational and inspirational videos on YouTube.
Positive thinking, as I said, is a conscious effort for many people (I know there are people who are naturally optimistic). If you are like me, you should make it a habit to read motivational books, articles, or blogs (like this one!) to maintain your positivity or watch similar materials on YouTube. There’s just so much negativity out there bombarding us every minute and we could overcome that by feeding our soul with positive messages. We have to really take the initiative to seek them out because they don’t come too easily. That’s because negative news, ideas and messages get more attention and publicity.
7. Stay away from the news for a month or even more.
Yep, you read that right! Stay away from the news for at least one month. There’s just too many bad news out there. Every media channel is guilty of this and there’s nothing we can do about it because it’s the bad news that get more views. Too much of it has an unnerving effect and could trigger anxieties. So, abstain from the news every so often.
8. Avoid negative people.
Now this could be difficult especially if you have relatives or close friends like this. Other people’s negative thoughts influence our own mental attitude and emotions, so it’s important to keep them away from you particularly during the initial stages of your “transformation.” If you cannot avoid them entirely, just keep your interactions with them at the minimum and mentally guard yourself from their negativity.
9. Stop complaining.
You must also be on guard when it comes to your own thoughts. Stop complaining, stop criticizing, stop blaming others, stop finding fault in every little thing, not even in your mind! Studies show that complaining actually shrinks the brain. Make an effort to catch yourself complaining and immediately replace it with something positive.
10. Don’t compare yourself with any one. Stop the envy.
Some of the negative perceptions about ourselves come from comparing our lot with others. We imagine other people to be better than us, happier than us, richer than us. Not really. Others have their own problems, too. We just don’t know anything about it.
If a friend, neighbor or relative is able to achieve something, don’t feel envy. Instead, replace it with a genuine feeling of happiness for them. Take a deep breath, smile and sincerely think, “I’m happy for them.” This will immediately stop the envy from eating at your heart.