What’s the Big Deal About Positive Thinking?
I recently received a message informing me that most people complain once every three minutes during conversations. (Sri Preethraji). Is this a habit you want to have? Focusing on the challenges we face is neither productive nor healthy. Change is possible.
For the next few days, during your conversations pay attention to what you and others are saying. Is it a pity party? Or a general complaining about all that is wrong in the world. When life gives you grief and you share your problems with a friend are you sometimes told “just think positively”? This isn’t what you want to hear. You just want to wallow in your pain. You might even want a bit of sympathy. But hang on a minute! How long do you wallow? There might be some value in thinking positively.
I don’t suggest you gloss over life’s problems. When you experience hurt, pain, disappointment in life it is important to acknowledge what you are feeling and why. No one would expect you to not be upset, sad, angry, or frightened when you receive shocking news, lose your job, or get a devastating health diagnosis. We all go through tough times, and we move on: but how? Life is full of difficulties. We want to overcome the difficulties and enjoy life to the fullest. When we feel our world has ended there are things you can do to get yourself back on track. First, be compassionate with yourself.
Our fears, anger, and frustrations are often important, they notify us of things that need to change, or warn us of dangers. Pay attention to that little inner voice. Learn how to control how you respond, learn how to enjoy life to the fullest.
Do you know anyone who tends to see things as negative? “What a beautiful day,” you say as you greet your friend. “Oh yes, the house is going to get so hot, another night too hot to sleep.” Or, “I hear you have a nice vacation planned.” And the response comes “I hate flying, it is always so uncomfortable, the seats are too small, and check-in just takes forever. I wonder if it is really worth the hassle.” Most of us have friends, family, or acquaintances who have this attitude. I don’t know about you, but I eventually spend less time with them. I prefer to be around people with a positive attitude. Though I prefer to be around positive people life doesn’t always work that way. We pick up on the electrical field that surrounds others.
Our Electrical Field
We each have an electrical or vibrational field that radiates about three feet around us (some studies suggest this is much more). So, if someone is giving off bad vibes how do we protect ourselves? Will our own positive vibes over power their negative ones? This is where you need to do some work and use your imagination. Visualize you are snuggly wrapped in a cloak (you choose the colour, I like pink or gold) that lets your positive, loving energy flow to others but filters out the negative energy from reaching you. (image from Human Energy Field Facebook Page)
I have written about Positive Self-Talk before. This information about choosing to be happy, learning how to find joy and calm, and decreasing the stress in your life merely adds to my previous blog. I have learned from Ekam, World Centre for Enlightenment, there are only two states of being, a beautiful state or a suffering state. And I am on a journey to spend most of my time in a beautiful state.
The Benefits of Positive Thinking
There are benefits to positive thinking. One article I read suggests positive thinking can lead to the following health benefits:
- Increased life span.
- Decreased rates of depression.
- Lower levels of distress and pain.
- Increased resistance to illness.
- Better psychological and physical well-being.
- Better cardiovascular health and decreased risk of death from cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Why do these health benefits result from positive thinking? The answer isn’t known. We can only guess that it might relate to our being able to handle stress better. We know that prolonged stress leads to a weakened immune system, increased blood pressure, poor sleep, it might influence what you eat and drink. All of these are detrimental to our health and if we can do something to improve our health, why not? Is it easy to do? Here are some suggestions.
How to Think Positively
A message in my email inbox from Deepak Chopra contained these suggestions for positive thinking:
- Acknowledge your negative thoughts. First, ask yourself if the negative thought is true. Example: “I’m so stupid, I can’t do anything right.” Well, we know for sure that isn’t true. Now to Reframe that thought: “This is difficult, but I’ve done difficult things before and done well.”
- Move your body. Get the oxygen flowing along with the endorphins. Those endorphins will give you a natural high.
- Try affirmations. Display these on your bathroom mirror, or somewhere you will see them often. This helps you celebrate your worth and successes.
- Practice gratitude. List 3 – 5 things for which you are grateful every morning and/or evening.
- Meditate daily.
More Things to Help You Think Positively
If you tend to be a pessimist or negative thinker don’t expect to change overnight. As with anything you want to change – first you must decide what you want, what you need to start doing, and what you need to stop doing.
You can start with how you talk to yourself. Be kind to yourself. Speak to yourself as you would speak to a friend, beloved family member, or someone for whom you care about.
Take time during the day to reflect on what you are thinking. Just a moment or two to get yourself back on track if you have started down a path of negative thoughts. It might help at this point add some humour and even laugh at yourself. Find the funny side of what is happening around you.
Body and mind work together if one isn’t healthy the other will be affected. Live a healthy lifestyle. Eat nutritiously – healthy food in healthy amounts. Get adequate sleep. Take time for appropriate physical activity. Learn ways to manage your stress.
Surround yourself with positive people. Be with people who are supportive and positive. You want to be around others who will help guide you and offer feedback if you want it. Negative people might just add to your stress, which you don’t need while attempting to make positive changes to your life.
You are on Your Way
There are many more things you can do to be more positive. Find things to do that you enjoy and spend some time having fun. You might need to take a little time to think about what those things are – but you deserve to have fun in your life. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Love yourself, just the way you are. One small step at a time.
Let me know your thoughts on positive thinking. I’d love to help guide you on your journey to a beautiful life. I am still learning, but I have numerous resources we can explore and discuss.