How To Think More Positively When Faced With Challenges
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“When you get to the end of the rope…tie a knot and hang on.”
~Franklin D Roosevelt
Many people have a difficult time thinking positively, when faced with adversities; however, it is possible, and essential for your personal development. Truth-be-told, it is quite easy to slip into a negative “zone” when faced with challenges, in fact, many people fall into this dark tunnel without even knowing it. Moreover, one of the first things that pops out of other people’s mouths is “Think positive” and “It will get better in time.” While that is a wonderful sentiment, for most, it’s just not that easy. More specifically, the majority of people have to “make” themselves be positive, especially when they are sad, stressed, overwhelmed, depressed, mad, angry, or hurt. In addition, “thinking positively” may come “easier” for some than others.
Does that mean you are a “negative person” simply because “thinking positively” does not come naturally to you? Absolutely not! But, it does mean that you may have to make a bigger effort to push past the negative thoughts, reactions, and behaviors, so that you can fully embrace a more positive lifestyle. Try not to immediately think the worst during difficult times, rather, “force” those thoughts out of your mind, and look for a light in the darkness. It is there, you just have to search for it. Turn negative situations, events and experiences into more positive ones. In other words, make sweet lemon pie out of sour lemons. Focus on the “good” in your life, and the negativity will disappear like a puff of smoke. The keys to positivity are: determination and persistence.
As mentioned previously, “thinking positively” is a choice for most people. You can choose to be a positive person, even when faced with adversities, or you can choose to wallow in self-pity. However, if you decide to embrace a negative attitude, you will stunt your self-development. In other words, you will be stuck in a long, dark tunnel. Who wants to live their life like that? No one! So, if you are looking for ways to think more positively, when faced with adversities, you have come to the right place. This article will teach you how to overcome adversities with positivity.
One of the best ways to enhance your personal development and think more positively, when faced with adversities is to make changes – even when it hurts. Truth-be-told, most people have a hard time embracing “change,” however it is essential, if you want to think more positively. Change is important for one main reason – it helps you grow as a person, friend, lover, spouse, partner, sibling, daughter or son, etc. In other words, it supports self-development. It is important to understand that positive thinking stems from how you see yourself, others, and the world around you. It is a choice. It also takes effort. As mentioned previously, most people are not “naturally” positive, and the remaining few are not positive every day, all day long.
In fact, almost everyone has to work on “being positive.” And, truthfully, it is not always easy, especially when you are dealing with a loss, illness, or betrayal. But, you can make changes in your life that encourage positive thinking. For instance, if you are “friends” with someone, who constantly makes you feel bad about yourself, then you may want to remove that person from your life. This is especially true, if you begin to beat yourself up, as well. Or, if your co-worker constantly belittles and gossips about others and you find yourself mimicking those negative behaviors, you may need to remove yourself from his or her presence, when he or she starts behaving negatively.
Lastly, if you have recently lost someone close to you, and find yourself falling deeper and deeper into depression because you are surrounded by the decease’s belongings, you may need to consider boxing up his or her things and donating them to a charity, or, if possible, moving to a new location. These changes may help you think more positively all of the time – not just during the hard times. The best thing about “change” is that it is pro-active. It is a way to see things from a different perspective, and it is also a way to become more empowered. You don’t have to think negatively, you can think positively, if you make an effort. Don’t get me wrong, “change” can be hard, but it can also improve your life in so many ways. Embrace change, and you will have a happier, more positive life.
Take Time to Learn More About Yourself
One of the best ways to think more positively is to take time to learn more about yourself. In other words, ask yourself, “How do I respond to difficult times?” “What are my first thoughts when I become stressed, angry, or upset?” “How did I respond to my last negative experience, and what could I have done differently?” “What are positive ways that I can respond to negative people and situations?” “What makes me happy?” “What makes me angry and upset?” “What can I do to increase my happiness and satisfaction?”
Taking time to learn more about yourself can help you think more positively. How? Well, it can help you eliminate the negativity in your life, so that you can be happier. In other words, it helps you better understand, who you are as a person, and as a result you are able to counter negative reactions. It also helps you identify triggers that encourage negative thoughts and behaviors, so that you can stop and/or avoid them. So, take a moment to think about what you want and need in your life. Try to avoid or reduce your exposure to people and things that cause you stress, depression, anger, frustration, and anxiety, and concentrate on the people and things that bring you happiness and joy.
Face Your Fears
It can be very hard to face your fears, and remain positive. Truth-be-told, even the most well-developed people experience fears, when faced with adversities. It is normal; however, it is important that you persevere past these fears. Why? Because, the only way you will be able to think more positively is to face them head on. Fears are harmful because they create doubt in your mind. It is this doubt that encourages negativity. When you face your fears, you banish doubt from your life. And, as a result you are happier, and more positive towards yourself, others, and the world around you. In addition, when you are free from fear and doubt, you are able to find solutions to your problems, and heal from wounds. You see life in a different light. In other words, you no longer see the glass as half-empty – now you see it as half-full.
Convert Negative Thoughts Into Positive Ones
Hmm…how can I convert negative thoughts into positive ones? Well, easily. First, you need to remember that the “bad” things that happen to you are only temporary. Eventually, they will fade and disappear. Life is constantly revolving, so although it feels as if “things will never get better” – they will. You will experience joy and happiness again. However, the worst thing you can do is wallow in self-pity. Pick yourself back up – one baby step at a time. And, start by replacing your negative thoughts with healthier, more positive ones.
For instance, if that little voice in your mind tells you that you are unattractive, force yourself to counter the negativity with “I have really cute dimples.” Or, if that voice tells you that you are “stupid” counter that negativity with “I’m not stupid, I got Employee of the Month, which isn’t an easy feat.” The key is to stop yourself when you find yourself sliding down the slippery slope of negativity. Remember, you will need to “force” yourself to think more positively – it will not happen naturally, for most. Make an effort to be more positive, and your life will improve by leaps and bounds.
- Dr. R. Y. Langham
Clear, J. (2013). The science of positive thinking: How positive thoughts build your skills, boost your health, and improve your work. Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-clear/positive-thinking_b_3512202.html
Ellesse. (n.d.). 50 inspirational positive quotes that make you think. Retrieved from http://www.goal-setting-college.com/inspiration/inspirational-quotes/
Mayo Clinic. (2015). Positive thinking: Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/positive-thinking/art-20043950