In today’s demanding world, it is very easy to succumb to the negative ways of life. Negative thinking is a habit, and some of us don’t even know we do it. Turning your mind from negative to positive thinking mode is something everyone can achieve. And the wonderful thing is that positive thinking takes the same amount of energy as negative thinking.
So before we can tackle a problem we must know its roots. Where does negative thinking come from?
- The media
- The workplace
- Your family
- Your significant-other
- Your government
- Your religion
- Any social institution
- Other places or things
Let’s go a little deeper on the main sources of negative thinking. Also, keep in mind that everything is relative, what can be seen as positive to one person may not be the same to another.
Any time you turn the television on, listen to the radio, read the news, flip through a magazine or browse the internet, you are in contact with tons of information and a lot of that information is likely to lead you to negative instead of positive thinking.
The world moves so fast that sometimes we don’t realize how these things impact us. Turning the tragic news you hear or read into positive thinking can be a great challenge. But trust me, there is a way.
If you have had a job you must know that it can be the best place for negativity to grow and flourish. A bad boss can turn something fun into hell. A negative coworker can ruin your entire day. A conflicting rule in the workplace can make your time there almost a nightmare, and when you have all of these or more at the same time it is almost for sure that you will start hating what you do.
Knowing how to combat a bad workplace and turn it into a positive experience is a skill that will come in handy many times in your life.
Your family and/or significant other
When you are close to a group of people (family) or just one person (significant other), it can be almost impossible to always keep things going smooth. But let’s be honest, who wants to live in a world where everyone agrees? It is only when conflict turns into abuse that things can get really bad. Day to day conflict is normal when you are so close with each other, but learning how to handle the bigger problems is the key to keeping your mind and mental health in a positive thinking state.
Your society and social institutions
We all live in a world that has social institutions (Religion, politics, etc), when our views are different that the views of those institutions, conflict and negativity can and will arise. We might not agree with the way our government did something, when the negative thinking starts it’s hard to stop it and to keep it from spilling out into every area in your life. It can be challenging to keep a positive thinking mind in this ever changing world when a normal person has little control of the bigger things.
Sometimes, no matter how good things may be, we might still find ourselves feeling negative and turn something that could have been an enjoyable experience into a bad memory. After years of being surrounded by negativity, it can be hard to learn to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and sometimes it is easier, or simply more normal for us to gravitate towards the darker side in our minds. To conquer this problem you must conquer yourself and learn that you have the power to make positive thinking second nature.
Now we can talk about the good stuff. Once you have the root of your problem you have many options:
- Remove the source. (Stop watching TV, change the radio station, etc)
- Change the way the source is (send a letter to corporate, propose a new way to do things)
- Change the way you see the source (turn a negative into a positive)
- Find other creative ways to deal with the source of your negativity
So here is how I battle with myself and turn negative into positive thinking: I remove the negativity when I can, and if it can’t be removed or modified I turn to myself and change the way I see it.
I have learned that this way of positive thinking has helped me in many areas of my life. I have fallen deep into severe depression before and because I don’t want to be there ever again I use this method to keep me from falling when the world is heavy on my back.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when practicing the positive thinking way of life:
Take control of your thoughts
The first thing to keep in mind is that negative thoughts can be sneaky; sometimes we don’t realize how pessimistic we are acting until we are done. Once you start paying attention to your thoughts you will start to notice the patterns and the ways you see life. To do this, you must become aware of your mind and what goes on inside of it. For some people, writing thoughts down can help take control of them, because it’s easy to visualize something once you actually see it down on a piece of paper. So, if you are unsure if what you are thinking is really as bad as it seems, write it down, and then evaluate for yourself.
Becoming aware of your thoughts allows you the power to control them. Once you catch yourself thinking something negative it is now up to you to change it into something positive. Every time you notice a negative thought, think of how what you are thinking can also be seen in a positive light. It’s not just about how good you can be at changing things around but how much of it you actually believe. Let me give you an example:
Negative thinking: “My day is going to suck today because I have to work 2 extra hours”
Positive thinking: “I work longer today but that just means that tomorrow my day will go by faster and my paycheck will be bigger”
Do you really believe the positive thinking version that you created? Is it true? If the answer is no, then you must revise your ideas and get deep in your head. What motivates you? Why are you putting yourself in a position in which you will most likely suffer? Usually there is a greater good that we are all seeking and this is the main reason for our hard work.
This leads me to my next step:
Finding your reason to be a positive thinker
Think of why you live your life the way you do, why you do the things you do, or why you are where you are in your life. Those questions are all hard to ask and can be challenging to answer, but they are important because they give you an idea of why you are putting yourself in difficult situations.
Once you find your “greater good” you can motivate yourself and find ways to turn your brain into a positive thinking machine.
So what motivates you?
Submerge yourself with positivity
Now that you know to pay attention to your thoughts and what motivates you to turn them into positive thinking, you can start moving in the direction of a positive life. It is true that no matter how much control we have over our thoughts, when you surround yourself by certain things you will usually absorb them and basically turn into them.
A person that is highly intelligent who surrounds themselves by mind-numbing things will eventually let their brain “dry out”
A healthy person that surrounds themselves with unhealthy peers will eventually take a step into the unhealthy world.
Our ego might tell us that this is not true, but trust me, if you are told by somebody that you look ugly every single day, no matter how much you may be in control of yourself, one day you might believe it.
The good news is that the opposite is also true, if you surround yourself with what you want (even if you don’t have it yet) you will be more likely to obtain it.
Read positive books, watch positive movies, listen to positive music, talk with positive people and soon you will start feeling a little positive yourself.
Find your own ways to bring your mind into positive thinking. Create your own philosophy. Don’t give up if you fail, in fact, if you fail, you will have a great opportunity to turn something negative (failing) into something positive (trying again).
As I’ve said in previous posts, life is full of opportunities and the great thing is that you don’t have to start living the day you are born. If you have found yourself down in the dumps and can’t seem to get up, try changing your thoughts into positive ones and slowly but surely you will start feeling better again. Be persistent, trust yourself and realize that we are human and our nature is not to be at peace with ourselves. The attainment of happiness, peace, positivity and anything you want is life is something that we must work for. But then again, what’s the point of life if everything is already given to us?
See how I just turned something like hard work into something positive? Once you got it down you can turn negative into positive thinking, it becomes second nature; I recommend you give it a try!