EMBRACE THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING
Article by Pamela C. Wills
Sometimes, life can get pretty rough. All kinds of negativity seems to swirl around, and sometimes people -- at times, myself included -- express anger, fear, doubt and worry. It can sometimes be seriously challenging to keep a positive attitude. I know you feel me.
Here's the thing: Negative situations happen all the time. Not to minimize the implications of what's happening at any given moment, but yeah, shit happens. So how do we fight against the negative impact of all the shit happening??
My best advice is to embrace the power of positive thinking, because it helps us stay positive even when chaos reigns. Check these ideas for staying positive:
1 // STOP the negative chatter in your head
Are you always beating yourself up mentally? Do you usually question your actions? Trust me, I’ve been there. So I know firsthand how important it is to retrain your brain to stop doing that to yourself. The more you talk negatively to yourself, the more that negativity digs in deep and becomes part of you. Instead, practice positive thinking: Anytime a negative thought shows up, replace it with a positive one. Soon enough, your brain automatically turns negatives into positives. It's magical.
2 // Create a positive environment for yourself
It's essential to have influences in your life that support and lift you up instead of drag you down. Who and what you choose to spend your time on all have a huge impact on your outlook. Consider carefully WHAT you let into your mind and with WHOM you choose to spend your time.
- Who are the three most negative people I spend time with?
- What are the three of most negative sources of information I spend time on?
On the other hand, surrounding yourself with positive people helps you stay positive in negative situations. There are plenty of negative people out there — avoid them! Those negative attitudes can only bring you down.
3 // Start your day positively
Set the tone for the rest of your day by strategically planning how you spend your mornings. Start your day by moving your body, reading or listening to inspiring information over a healthy breakfast or during your ride to work. These small steps can make a big difference in how your whole day goes.
4 // Find the silver lining
Ask yourself this:
- What is one positive or good thing about this situation?
- What is one opportunity that could result from this situation?
It's perfectly okay if you need a bit of time to process any uncomfortable thoughts and feelings that might arise in a negative situation. Forced optimism when you're still feeling the feels usually doesn’t work so well.
5 // Express gratitude
Even when the worst shit is happening, we mostly realize that we still have things to be grateful for. We still count our blessings. Practicing gratitude, keeping a gratitude journal, acknowledging what we’re grateful for helps us to feel positive, even when bad things happen.
6 // Get some exercise
Exercise is an excellent way to fight the negative effects of bad situations. It releases those yummy endorphins in our brains that make us feel better. The physical, mental and emotional benefits of exercise cannot be overstated. Moving around keeps your body in better shape and boosts your self-esteem for having the discipline to exercise. Try adding yoga to your routine for some serious focus and meditation.
7 // Don't let fear hold you back
Take a chance! Start a new habit that feels unfamiliar! Who cares about what's the worst that could happen? How about thinking, What's the BEST that could happen??
Finding clarity doesn’t take much effort AND it can help you to get going, step outside of your comfort zone and take that chance.
8 // Look for solutions and take action
Change is ROUGH. It's messy, it's painful, it's chaotic. But guess what -- change DOES happen. Just like that famous French journalist, Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr said, "the more things change, the more they stay the same."
Accepting that change is part of life can help you to relax and be more accepting. Try to look for the positive aspect. For example, if you’re in a crappy career situation, what do you do -- accept it and try to make it better? Maybe. Or maybe this is your opportunity to make a big change for yourself and land the role that you REALLY want. Of course, seriously tragic changes can throw us off even moreso, but when our brains have learned how to stay positive in negative situations, even tragedy won’t destroy us completely. With the power of positivity, we can master those negative situations whenever they arise.