When I was about 20, someone memorably told me that if you change the way you think, you can change your life. I think that’s true. Positive thinking is not just about putting on a brave face and trying to look on the bright side, it is a different way of thinking, and influences how we cope with the ups and downs of everyday life. Positivity gives us motivation, power and a sense of control over our destiny, where negativity makes us feel powerless, overwhelmed and lacking in motivation and courage.
Adopting positive thinking can allow us to be more optimistic and increase our sense of wellbeing. It can change the way we view life, making us happier, sunnier and equipping us with the tools to become more successful. With a positive attitude, we become more optimistic, and expect the best to happen.
Here are a few things to think about if you would like a more positive outlook.
When we open our eyes each morning, we can make a considered choice: How do I want to feel today? This choice is completely within our power. We create our own misery or our own happiness. Do not accept a feeling of negativity when you wake. We cannot wait for everything to be perfect for us to be happy! We can choose to be positive today. Yes, we all have bad days and there will be days when everything goes wrong. But remember that whilst we cannot control life’s ups and downs, but we can control our reaction to them.
Try looking for the good in every situation. If you expect the worst, you are likely to get it. We have all heard that we should hope for the best, but expect the worst, but actually that is negative advice. People who approach life with this attitude do not expect to be successful and happy, and are therefore unlikely to achieve that state.
Try and decrease the time you spend complaining. You may do it more than you realise! Complaining is a waste of time and energy. It achieves absolutely nothing except to make us feel worse. Try and replace complaining with action plans and gratitude for what you do have. If you are very unhappy in your present circumstances, make a list of all the things you would like to change in your life and commit to doing something about them.
Always commit 100% to everything you do. Go about your day as confidently as you can. Hold you head up high, smile more and expect good things. If you adopt a positive approach to life, good things will come to you. Confident people are magnets for positivity and like attracts like.
There is no need (or any point) in feeling bad about the past. Yesterday is gone. Take responsibility for your actions, learn from them, and move on. It’s perfectly OK to make mistakes, mistakes are how we learn. Blaming others for situations we find ourselves in however, is fruitless in the long term.
Don’t depend on anyone else to make you happy. By doing so, you are creating a situation that is risky and one in which you become extremely vulnerable. Expecting a partner to be responsible for your happiness will put undue strain on any relationship. Take responsibility for your own happiness, and it is likely you will be successful in your relationships.
Break any self putting-down habits. It’s too easy to look into the mirror each morning and bemoan our looks, age, weight, and situation in life. While it is impossible to control what others say about us, we can control what we say to ourselves and how to say it. Speak to yourself as you would a friend. You would not bully a friend with negative statements, so don’t use that language yourself. Believe you are worthy, and use positive affirmations. If you feel uncomfortable saying them aloud, write them down and read them to yourself a few times a day.
Be a supportive and encouraging presence around others. Don’t be the one who whispers that failure and danger may be around the corner when others talk about their plans for the future. Be interested and excited for the future and radiate positivity and light. This will have a knock on effect in your own life.
Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”
– Willie Nelson
Try not to feel resentful. Feelings of resentment slowly chip away at our spirit and the way we perceive life and the future. If your life is not as you wish it to be, commit to change today and do something about it. Resenting your life and/or feeling envious of others around you, will not achieve a better life for you, and is therefore a waste of your time and energy.
Try and limit worrying. If you are worried about a specific situation, allow yourself a one hour ‘worry window’ a day. For the other 23 hours, decide that you will not think about the issue at all. It sounds difficult, but you can do it with practice. Don’t forget that a lot of worrying can be alleviated by planning.
Don’t spend your life in regret. Learn to forgive yourself. We have all done things in life we wish we had not. Don’t blame anyone else, apologise if appropriate, learn from what happened, then draw a line under it and MOVE ON.
Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.”
– Mary Lou Retton
A positive outlook is vital for ongoing happiness. It offers effective stress management and continual optimism. It will increase your feeling of control over your life, giving you a sunnier outlook and a higher level of motivation. You will be less affected when challenges do arise, and be more motivated to overcome them. You will depend on yourself, not others, for your self esteem and you will cope with anything life throws at you. Most importantly, you will believe in yourself and realise that the only barriers in life are the ones that you create yourself.
“Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.”
– Dennis P. Kimbro