Dec 7, 2012 - Mental Health, Priorities    4 Comments

Positive Thinking

Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will. – Zig Ziglar

Thinking positively will help give you a positive outlook on life, it will affect your attitude about yourself, and it may very well even affect your health.  So staying positive is something we all should pay close attention to.  Thinking positively means we take a step back and try to approach each situation in a more positive and efficient way. Your outlook should be “the cup is half-full” instead of half-empty.

Ask yourself this question:  How do I talk to myself?

Are your thoughts positive or negative?  What sort of logic and reason do you use when thinking about things?  Do you often have thoughts or misconceptions based on little or no information?  If the thoughts that run through your head are mostly negative, chances are that your outlook is more likely pessimistic.

Working towards positive thinking is a step by step process and will not happen overnight, it takes time and practice.  Here are a few ideas and approaches you can use to help you become a positive thinker and develop a habit for seeing the positives.

  1. Focus on your accomplishments not your mishaps.  Many times we can get caught up in the little things that we forgot to do, or the things we fall short of.  It’s important to not let those things get in the way.  Focusing on all the positives will help you overlook the negatives.  Everyone is their own worst critic.
  2. Don’t blame yourself for upset situations.  If friends cancel plans, or if you’re not invited to a gathering. Don’t assume that you did something wrong or that people don’t want to be around you.  There is always a bigger picture and being open to the change in plans or okay with a missed opportunity will help you experience a new activity and look forward to the future.
  3. That small rock started an avalanche.  Don’t automatically anticipate the worst in things.  If you slip in the shower and bump your head, don’t automatically assume that the rest of your day will be horrible.  Take these little mishaps as they come and leave them there, don’t carry them with you.
  4. Seeing the Gray in things.  If you see the world as black and white, try mixing those together.  There is often a middle ground. Work at being more accepting of yourself and others.  Remember no one is perfect.

 

Hopefully these few ideas will help you become more optimistic and practice positive thinking. Start small by focusing on one area to approach in a more positive way.  Maybe try periodically during the day to stop and evaluate what you’re thinking.  Allow yourself to smile and laugh, especially during difficult times and find humor in everyday things.  Surround yourself with positive and supportive people you can depend on to give helpful advice.

Instead of thinking “I’ve never done that before”, try “It’s an opportunity to learn something new”.  Or “It’s too complicated”  -  “I’ll tackle it from a different angle”.

“There’s no way it will work” – “I can try to make it work”
“It’s too radical a change” – “Let’s take a chance”
“No one bothers to communicate with me” – “I’ll see if I can be more open to communication”
“I’m not going to get any better at this” – “I’ll give it another try”

Practicing positive thinking every day your thoughts will contain less self-criticism and more self-acceptance. You will become less critical of the world and by having a positive mood, both you and those around you will gain an emotional boost.

~John

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