10 Tips: Positive Thinking Can Be Easy!
Michelle's “10 Tips to Overcome Negative Thoughts" as featured on TinyBuddha describes 10 ways to manage negative thoughts on a daily basis, and she begins with a Buddhist Quote:
“See the positive side, the potential, and make an effort.”
We all struggle to stay positive from time-to-time, and we naturally tend to remember negative experiences before positive experiences. The same is true with our thinking. We tend to focus on the negative thoughts before we entertain the positive ones.
Michelle explains that “Negative thoughts drain you of energy and keep you from being in the present moment. The more you give in to your negative thoughts, the stronger they become. I like the imagery of a small ball rolling along the ground, and as it rolls, it becomes bigger and faster. That’s what one small negative thought can turn into: a huge, speeding ball of ugliness. On the contrary, a small positive thought can have the same effect blossoming into a beautiful outcome.”
10 Tips for Positive Thinking!
1. Meditation and Yoga. Yoga and meditation are very relaxing, which helps to calm the mind. Both can help a person be mindful and focus on the present. They also help to purge the mind of negative thinking or racing thoughts.
2. Smile. Smiling helps our brain to think that we are happy and comfortable, so if you are focused on smiling, it will help to create positive thoughts. It is hard to feel negative when we smile, so it forces us to think in a positive way.
3. Surround yourself with positive people. People who are positive can help to spark positive feeling for ourselves, and if you are surrounded by negative people, it can cause you to feel and think negatively. The author suggests, “When you’re stuck in a negative spiral, talk to people who can put things into perspective and won’t feed your negative thinking.”
4. Create positive thoughts. Michell explains that rather than thinking, “We are going to have a hard time adjusting to our living situation,” you can choose to think, “We will face some challenges in our living situation, but we will come up with solutions that we will both be happy with.” When we intentionally change our thoughts to become more optimistic, it creates a positive energy that compounds itself and creates even more positive thoughts. Changing the way we think changes the way we feel!
5. Create your life. We have control over our lives. When we play the victim, it is easy to stay in a negative mood. Choosing to see our life circumstances as (at least in-part) the result of our personal decisions rather than a result of conditions beyond our control, we can remember that we have the power to make plans for our lives and take action to shift the world around us.
6. Help someone. When we give of ourselves, it can create many positive feelings and thoughts. Sometimes when we are at an all time low, being able to help another can re-charge our sense of value and worth. This increases self esteem, which creates positive thinking and action. Take the focus away from you and do something nice for another person. .
7. No one is perfect. It is true. No one is perfect. Having the expectation of being 100% perfect or that others need to be perfect results in negative thinking. Also, if we focus on our past and past mistakes, it keeps us from being able to focus on the present and create positive situations now.
8. Sing. Michelle suggests that singing can improve mood and relieve stress. Singing can make us feel good, regulate breathing, and get our mind into a different space where positive thoughts are more abundant!
9. List five things that you are grateful for right now. Writing down the things we can acknowledge as positive in our life can help us to remain grateful. It can also help us to remember resources and gifts we have in our lives.
10. Read positive quotes. Michelle explains that, “I like to place Post-It notes with positive quotes on my computer, fridge door, and mirror as reminders to stay positive." To conclude, she goes on to share a valuable quote by Lao Tzu.
"Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny."
- Kim B.
There is an old song that I believe is from the late 1930s or early 1940s that comes to my mind when I think of the word positive. I truly do not know the title of the song, and no more than this one line of the lyrics: “You’ve got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative, and don’t mess with nothing in-between.” The instruction of these words could be a prescription for a successful personal growth plan.
Although I am uncertain as to the scientific results into the "power of positive thinking" concept, I certainly believe that it cannot be harmful. I believe that the more we practice using positive thinking, not only will it become our habit, it will take hold of our nature, our being. When something has a foothold in our being it cannot help but affect our personal growth and/or stability. The question is this ‘thing’ that has the foothold, is it creating a positive or negative influence or outcome?
In other circumstances and situations, I believe we are sending out a ‘false positive’ message through our body language and/or expressions. For example, my oldest daughter, who is now an adult, …Pause, while the author chokes on that realization…okay, you may resume…has for almost her entire existence smiled throughout nearly every circumstance in her life, positive and negative.
When she participated in high school sports, one official that we saw frequently even called her ‘Smiley.’ A nice compliment, but her smile was truly a mask. She is not an inherently negative person, but neither is she an overtly positive person. She has severely struggled with many of the things she has faced in life. Although she is exceptionally intelligent and gifted in the arts and academia, she still has been inhibited in her growth through life. I am unsure how much of it is by choice or by circumstances, because when I ask all I get in reply is her beautiful smile.
She does not have her driver’s license essentially because she doesn’t want to get it. She has not applied for college because she will not take the initiative to meet with her guidance counselor. She has not had a real boyfriend, because she views most boys as immature and a waste of her time and energy.
For complete transparency, as her father, as someone that doesn’t want to see her grow up and leave our family nest, I am okay with all of this. However, as someone who loves her and wants the most and best for her personal growth and future, I am concerned. Does a positive ever become a negative in life? If so, when does a positive become a negative in life? I doubt we could put a date and time on it. I also doubt if it is even chronological. I just know, as her Dad, that her beautiful smile has hidden if not impeded who is really living inside her.
She is beautiful on the outside, because she takes after her mother, and she is even more beautiful on the inside, mature and wise beyond her years. Still there is something amiss. There is something that has caused her personal growth to be underdeveloped. So far positive thinking has not overcome it, but I will not quit sending positive thoughts her way.
Yu, M. (2010, July 4). 10 Tips to Overcome Negative Thoughts: Positive Thinking Made Easy. Retrieved January 8, 2015, from http://tinybuddha.com/blog/10-tips-to-overcome-negative-thoughts-positive-thinking-made-easy
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