“Our happiness depends on the habit of mind we cultivate,” as Norman Vincent Peale emphasises in “The Power of Positive Thinking”.
Ask yourself what is positive thinking? Write it down. Read the definition you’ve just written. Are you willing to acknowledge the belief hidden in those words right now?
You might think positive thinking is all about living in a make-believe world with ponies, unicorns and fairies chitchatting and having a blast. Not quite. Positive thinking actually translates into choosing a positive, equanimous perspective on life’s challenges. Good news though! Positive thinking is not something we are born with. It is rather something we grow into. So, if you want to, you will do it.
The way you think at the present moment already took a lot of time and effort to create the belief system that you now take for granted. Ask yourself. Is it helpful? Do you live a happy, fulfilled, and joyous life? Then, by all means, keep you belief system.
Should you feel there is still place for improvement, wait no more and let’s make it happen! Take a look at these seven steps to improve your life’s quality through positive thinking:
When you meditate, you train your mind to focus on one thought of a time. With time and practice, you will be able to focus, not only during meditation, but also throughout your day, on one single thought at a time: the positive thought of your choice. Say goodbye to all the negative “litter” inside your mind!
2. Do yoga
Yoga is a way of aligning the body with the mind. The body is presence. So, keeping a focus on your body and breathing will help you stay in the present moment. The here and now is the time to use the power of positive thinking.
3. Listen to your (inner) discourse
Stay connected to your thoughts. During the meditation let yourself observe your thoughts. Look at them from afar. Acknowledge them without engaging. Throughout the day, observe what you are telling yourself. Is it “Way to go!”, “I’m proud of myself!”, “I’m amazing at what I am doing!” or is it more like “Nothing ever goes my way”, “I can’t make it”, “What if I fail?”
Make a habit of listening to yourself while talking to others. Are you using in your discourse more positively connotated or more negatively connotated terms? No judgement about it. Just keep a balance sheet throughout a week. At the end of the day, write down the words you’ve been repeating to yourself and to others throughout the day.
Image Credit: Peace Revolution
4. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones
At the previous stage, you assessed your level of positive thinking versus negative thinking translated into speech. Now, the moment of action has come. Goodie, goodie! Keep on observing your thoughts. When you catch a negative one, tell it:
“I acknowledge you. I accept you and I am now transforming you” and replace it with the thought of your choice.
5. “You can! Yes, you. It’s you I’m talking to!”
Many of us have a belief that we don’t have everything in place so as to make it happen. I’ve heard people say “I’m too active to sit down 30 minutes and slow down my mind.” Have you tried it? Nopes. That is just something that you trust to be real. In how many other situations in your life do you act in the same way just because you have this thought “I can’t do it?” Whatever your negative thoughts are, once you’ve poured light on them, change them into something uplifting, empowering. It will only benefit you and those around you.
6. Hello, dear positive people!
Positive people are a fountain of happiness and joy. But they are still human and not living on a little white cloud up in the sky. They are going through changes and face challenging situations, too. The difference is that instead of playing the victim card, they will look at how they could use the situation constructively, as an opportunity to grow and make something powerful out of it.
What I love most about positive people is the way they provide constructive feedback. Acknowledging that someone did not do a very good job, is pretty easy. Having the willingness to show that person where he went wrong and accompany him in a motivating, positive way to see the different aspects that he could improve, takes mastery. This is the kind of person you want to invite in your life.
Helping out strangers on the street, providing directions for lost tourists, volunteering, making people smile, these are all ways to build on your positive thinking. Relationships are the source of deepest fulfillment. It will make you feel worthy. It will help you improve your self-esteem. Help others! You will soon start thinking that all the good things you always longed for, but never thought could have, are actually achievable. It all starts with your thoughts.
Creating empowering, uplifting and motivating thought patterns takes commitment. Will you let go of your old beliefs and create a new appearance for your life now?