There is positive thinking advice everywhere, from tv to social media, and from well-meaning people. But how do we know what is really good advice and tools that might work for us? Are there secrets to this positive thinking thing? Does positive thinking success even exist?
Many more questions come up than answers when we talk about living a positive life, and this is because everyone will have a different experience with learning to change negative thinking and improve their perspectives about their life experiences. However, there are some inside secrets that have been proven as successful methods for anyone looking to experience more positive thinking:
- Positive thinking is possible even while enduring challenging circumstances. Yes, you can still think in positive ways even though life has been or is currently tough. There are ups and downs that everyone experiences in life, and you are no different. So, what is the harm in learning to be and think as positive as you can despite your present situation? There is no harm in this, unless you enjoy thinking and feeling negative? If this is the case, then get ready to embrace negativity, as life will never be at 100% of your liking. (Click here to learn more about using the back burners when facing challenging situations and thoughts.)
- Positive thinking, just like negative thinking, are both learned behaviors. We are taught, through direct modeling and other influences, how to worry and stress. (Click here for more information on childlike experiences) We are also taught how to think in both positive and negative ways. Considering that drama and conflict sell, as we see it on every channel on tv and all over social media, negativity may appear to be the way to go. Wrong. Negativity is a learned behavior, meaning that it can be unlearned as well. But it will take time, time to undo the current pattern of thinking and learn a new way to experience our lives: positively.
- There will be fluctuations in your emotions, not matter how positive you are. Even the most positively skilled person has their “off” days. Positive thinking can be challenging, even with the best effort. This is ok. It is when we fall prey to negative thinking for too long and find ourselves trapped in a spiral of negative thinking (Click here to learn about the snowball effect), that our emotions have clearly gotten the best of us. Our emotions are fickle, and can change by the minute. Yes, they emotions are connected to our thoughts, but sometimes we cannot locate the source of our current feelings. When this happens, try to just let the emotion pass. Stay focused on something positive and your thoughts will align.
- Your environment and the people around you can negatively impact your positivity, but do not have ultimate power. It is true that we are impacted by our surroundings and the people in our lives. It is impossible not to be affected in one way or another by our daily activities. But if we allow our environments or people (two things that we have absolutely NO control over) then we are not exercising the control we can maintain: our thoughts. So, change environments and get some new friends if you have to, but do not blame your negative thinking patterns on everyone and everything else around you. Or you will stay stuck there. (Click here to learn more about the drama seekers in our lives.)
- Positive thinking is not magic. There is no magic spell or wand that can simply “zap” your mind into positive mode. And there is no magic ball or sorcery that can remove negativity either. This will be challenging and will require a lot of effort on your part. Changing our habitual thinking pattern is like unlearning how to ride a bike. (Click here to learn more about unlocking your mind and potential.) It is nearly impossible, but it also is possible. It is all a matter of time and undoing the learned behavior.
- There are no “masters” of positive thinking. There is nobody alive who has mastered positivity. Please do not fall for that, because it is a lie. Sure, there are people who are better at it than others, and have learned to identify situations and circumstances that may try to control their emotions and thoughts, but this is not mastery. This is the use of good skills. Best believe that these people have tough days too. (Click here to learn about the importance of a positive relationship with ourselves.) The difference between their tough days and someone else, is that their tough days are scattered occurrences here and there, lasting for about a day, while another person’s tough days might last for weeks or even months, with no end in sight. Work on crafting your positivity skills, getting better at it each day, but do not expect perfection. You will be disappointed if you think you have ever fully mastered your thoughts.
- You will have to be intentional in order to think and live a more positive life. You will need to be conscious of the choices you make each day, the people you surround yourself with, the sources of input you receive, the words that come out of your mouth, the ways that you take care of yourself, and your current pattern of thinking. Positive thinking is an intentional act. It will not happen without your conscious effort. (Click here for ways to de-clutter your mind.) Without being intentional, your mind will default back into old methods of processing, and you may find yourself entertaining more negative thoughts, than positive. So, make a choice to be, think, and live a more positive life. And accept that it will take some hard work and effort to accomplish this.
Take these 7 Sure-Fire ways to develop positive thinking and put them to use. If you want to change negative thinking, then you have to change your actions and behaviors. Start being intentional about your positive thinking by reading material and talking with people around you who are like-minded in trying to eliminate negativity from their lives as well. Click through and read the articles on this site and share them with friends. If there is one thing that we all have in common, its that life can be really hard and if that’s not enough, then our thoughts can begin to become negative-processing machines if we do nothing about it. So, do something about it today.
Work on positivity: actively, and intentionally.