Not everyone believes in positive thinking! As a concept, positive thinking is nothing new! It is however, something many people poo-poo as being a load of hippy, mystic nonsense!
Well, here’s a nice surprise for you! Pyschologists at the University of Victoria in New Zeland have recently pooled their research with Irving Kirsch of Harvard and come up with the idea that being optimistic and anticipating a happy outcome can influence how people perform. Perhaps now the science world seems to have caught up with the hippy mystics and is now advocating learning to think positively and use the power of suggestion, we might see people snapping out of their negative grumbling mode.
Positive thinking is a learned skill. A life skill that we could all do with having to a greater or lesser degree. It can help you develop a CANDo attitude towards your life that could easily change your behaviour and help bring whatever it is you’re thinking positively about to fruition!
If you can learn to harness the power of suggestion, you can and will be able to improve your life but the sad truth is, there aren’t many people out here who know how to use positive thinking effectively to get results.
Because learning how to think positively takes a bit of mental effort, at the moment, the “it’s not my fault, I come from a broken family!” is an attitude that many people seem to favour. Here’s the BIG BUT though: If you’re determined to get out of a rut in your life, positive thinking could well give you the leg up you need and break the negative cycle and enable you to get even more out of life.
So how do you do it? How can you practice positive thinking?
First off, there is an itsy-bitsy bit of work involved in learning the positive thinking life skill. Creating a CANdo attitude and weeding out the negative thoughts simply ain’t gonna happen over night.
Once you’ve consciously made the decision to cultivate a positive approach however, you’re actually part of the way there. As a next step, try some of these:
- SMILE. It’s amazing the impact a sunny smile can have on your thoughts.
- Start the day off with some lively, uplifting music. It’s amazing what it can do for your mood and it’s amazing how your mood can affect whether you think about things negatively of positively.
- Read about the power of positive thinking. There are some great books and web sites around from which to seek inspiration and motivation. I suppose the best book I’ve ever come across is by the modern day “creator” of positive thinking Dr Norman Vincent Peale; I found it incredible motivational. But don’t go thinking you need to buy something because you don’t. There is some equally good inspiration readily available for free on the internet if you search on “positive thinking”.
- Actively listen to yourself for a couple of days. Note down all the negative things you say. Now go through your notes and really think about how you could make them positive. For the next couple of days, consciously try to substitute the negative for the positive. If a negative sneaks in, acknowledge it, then try and replace it with a positive.
- Think CONSCIOUSLY about every thought you have or words you utter. Try to only dwell on positive things and certainly only say positive things. IT WILL BE HARD but it will get easier.
- Be persistent. If you persevere, you will eventually re-train your mind to think positively automatically with little effort on your part. In time, you’ll find your life becoming more positive.
Just remember, you CANDo it if you think you can! (thanks again to Dr Peale for giving me the inspiration for this parting sentence.)