Positive thinking. We know it’s one of the keys to being happy with our lives and sometimes it comes so naturally. You’ll be going about your day and everything is easy. Then other days positive thoughts and happiness seem to be so far away you can’t even imagine them. There is a school of thought that you are born a certain way, either you are an optimist or a pessimist. You see the glass half full or half empty. But I disagree, I’ve always seen myself as an optimist, but there are certainly times that I find it difficult to see and feel positive.
Since we know there are so many benefits to positive thinking including better mental and physical health, ease of relationships and better ability to handle stress, it would be great if we could try to cultivate optimism in our lives.
Positive Thinking - Seven things you can do right now.
1) Gratitude List.
Make a list of good things in your life. Think of your life right now. What good things are there to be thankful for? We’ll first off, if you’re reading this, you can see and read and you have internet access. There are three things right there to start your list off. Start listing them on a piece of paper or just go over them in your head. Don’t discount the small stuff, the things you take for granted. The fact that you can find any positive things in your life no matter how depressed you may feel can be comforting and will change your mood. Every day, I try to list 10 things I’m grateful for and 10 goals or things I would like to have in my life.
2) Play the 'what if' game.
If you had a fairy godmother, or an unlimited amount of wishes or someone gave you a billion dollars, what would you do with it. Write it down. Imagine it. Don’t say one thing and then go, but I don’t have that. Spend at least five minutes imaging what your life could be like. Indulge your fantasies - it’s our dreams that can give us the hope to make changes in our lives.
Make yourself smile consistently for three minutes straight. Studies have shown that simply the physical act of smiling makes us feel better and lightens our mood.
4) Focus on NOW.
If you are truly in the moment there are no problems. Stop for one moment. Forget the future and the past and concentrate on now. Look around and ask yourself what is everything like now. Our problems are most often worries about the past and future.
5) Look for the Positive.
No matter how bad things appear you can always find a positive. Try adding at least to the end of your sentences when you here yourself begin to complain.
I am fed up with my job but at least I can pay my rent.
I weigh too much but I drank plenty of water today.
This also will help you to think more positively. Depression makes everything black and this technique can help bring in a little light. Stop saying I can't - realize that there are few things you can't do mostly what you are saying is that you don't want to do something. Examine why this is so - is it fear? Star correcting your statements and also those you tell yourself. you will be more happy as a result.
6) Enlist support.
Find a friend to email your gratitude and goal list to at the beginning of each day or each week. Join social networks. Twitter. Facebook. MySpace. There are many social environments and many forums online that support those who are looking to improve their lives.
7) Be kind and loving to yourself.
One of my teachers said, you are at the place you are at right now. You can’t go from 0-150 in your car and you shouldn’t expect that you can feel horrible one moment and be dancing on cloud nine the next. But if you take steps you can feel a bit better, a little relief, a shade lighter. Allow yourself to take baby steps.