Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The "How's" of Positive Thinking

Yesterday I talked about the why's of positive thinking. Today I'll be talking about some of the how's. I realize that changing a habit that I have had for quite awhile now is not necessarily going to be easy. To prepare myself, I am thinking about just exactly what I think positive thinking is and then translating the final product into thought patterns and behaviors that I can incorporate into my life.

The first step is to be aware of my thinking. So often, our mind chatter is unthought about. I am becoming more aware everyday of the thoughts in my mind, and when they are negative, I squash them! Of course, it isn't exactly that easy. If you try not to think something, you are very likely to dwell on it even more. So after the initial squashing, I turn the thought around. For example, if I am cooking dinner, and the thought flies through my head that I am a very bad girl because dinner is so late today, I squash that thought, and then turn it around to, "Isn't it wonderful that I am cooking a delicious and nutritious meal for my family and myself!" Oddly enough, this is a lot easier than I thought it would be. I almost make a game of it. I don't lie to myself either. None of that praise for the sake of praise! The truth is we all have good parts, and if we let go of negativity, it is easy to celebrate them!

One of the toughest areas to incorporate positivity is when something bad happens. Let's face it. Not only am I going to make mistakes. My friends and family are too. To make matters worse, sometimes bad things are going to happen to my loved ones and me, even though none of us has done anything wrong. First, I am not going to dwell on my own or anyone else's mistakes. Once a moment has passed you can't ever get it back. It doesn't exist anymore. It is time to go on from there into the future. Secondly, I am going to find the silver linings. There is always a silver lining. Job losses can lead to better jobs and new experiences. Missing a bus can lead to badly needed quiet alone time or meeting a new friend. If you keep your eyes open and expect the positive, you will find it!

Perhaps the best part of developing the habit of positivity is finding fun! Every time, I approach an activity, I am going to expect to have fun! Sometimes the fun part will be a little thing. The feeling of warm water on my hands when I wash the dishes or the sun on my face when I hang the wash. Sometimes it will be bigger things that I can't imagine ahead of time, but I can anticipate that any activity will be fun. What do we know about anticipation? If often becomes fact! Part of anticipating fun will involve letting go of negative people. This can be a tough one. Especially if close family or friends are negative. Sometimes the best you can do is reducing time spent around negativity. To combat that, I plan on surrounding myself with positive people. If I am surrounded with positive people how can I fail to have fun?

A few last thoughts on how to keep myself positive. I need to recognize and accept all of my positive parts. Stating our positive traits on a regular basis is a great way to reinforce the positivity habit! I need to recognize others positive parts. Talking negatively about others is not a part of positivity. If you can't think of anything positive to say, you shouldn't say anything at all! Positive affirmations can be the cement that holds your positivity habit in place. I am not the type to have a list of positive affirmations that I repeat verbatim at certain times of the day. My positive affirmations spring up out of my heart and soul sometimes silently chanted to carry me through a rough time, sometimes shouted outside at the top of my lungs with joy for being me alive today! The other kind are fine too. What works for me may not work best for you!


BunnyKissd said...

This is such a hard thing for me to do... I am so glad I have you to lead by example... {{{hugs}}}

Elisa said...

Great post! I like to quote Thumper from Bambi "If you have nothing nice to say, it's better to say nothing at all". There's wisdom in Disney, too ;-)

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