7 Tips to Develop Positive Thinking
There are situations in life that can challenge the best of us, things that we would not wish upon the least of our friends. The idea of positive thinking in these situations repulses some people, who believe all the “pollyannaness” will not change a thing. Others use positive thinking as a way to control their external world and are actually making things worse for themselves and others.
The direction of our positive thinking will determine whether it is positive thinking in the truest sense of the word, denial of your experience, or wishful thinking. It is possible to have a positive mindset in life’s dark times, but it will take awareness and attention.
Here are some suggestions that you can apply to the challenge that you are currently facing:
1. Let go of worries about your negative thoughts
Many interpret the “law of attraction” teachings to mean they can never have a negative thought. Dawn was afraid to have negative thoughts, believing that she would attract every negative thing that she would think about.. This only lead to her having more negative thoughts about her negative thoughts and it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. When she started to relax about some of her thinking, life got a lot better.
We all have negative thoughts and sometimes need help from others in order to raise a more positive mindset. They are a part of our existence and our world and that doesn’t change as we become more successful, we just have different negative thoughts to counteract. You don’t have to believe everything you think though. Sometimes a word of “thank you” to the negative thoughts is enough to alleviate them and reduce the power they have over you.
You cannot stop the waves, but you can learn to surf. ~ Jon Kabat - Zinn (Tweet this)
2. Release the need to judge what is happening and instead accept it
The judging mind will seek to push the situation away and pretend it is not there, but this does nothing but cause us more suffering. It is not positive thinking to ignore debt, heath or relationship issues but it is what many of us have done, turning the focus to dreams of wealth.
Visualization of the future you desire is fine, but it does not mean you can ignore what is. Through judgment and ignoring of what is happening you have made situations worse for yourself, believing that you were trying to think positively.
Whether you like what you are going through or not the first thing to do is accept that it is happening. This does not mean that you are accepting it will always be like this, but that you will not deny the existence of it in this moment. Where positive thinking serves us best is helping us to find the best in the present reality and allow for the divine to unfold in our life.
3. Accept your feelings
In the midst of our most painful moments you are likely to experience feelings such as fear, sadness, guilt and anger. Those who are devoid of these emotions are labeled sociopaths. When you judge your feelings as bad you simply suppress them until they become a health or psychological issue in the future.
Let yourself be with the feelings, name them without judgment, let them arise, feel them, and allow them to pass through you. It is only when you judge the feelings that you block the flow. You may be crying but it does not mean you are being negative, unless you judge it to be so. Don’t put on a facade of positivity when you feel pain within, others will see right through your denial.
4. Seek out the hidden treasures
John was 16 years old when he was involved in a life threatening accident that would change his life forever. For years he suffered from depression and painful experiences, but he continued to seek out the help and healing that he needed.
The more his journey progressed the more he realized what a gift his accident had been. He realized all the wonderful people he met and the lessons he had learned were as a result of what had happened to him. Finding the gratitude helped him heal.
What if instead of waiting until that future time you could begin to reframe it as you are going through it? You can be fully present to a challenging life situation and seek to find the go(o)d within it from the outset. It will take strength to do so, and you may not always remember, but at least you have something that you can return to.
When you ask “What is the gift in this experience?” you are not ignoring the pain, you are not bypassing the healing, you are simply keeping your mind receptive to unveiling the gift that exists within the situation, the one you might not yet see. You may not see it for sometime and that is A-OK. It will come.
With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose. ~ Dr. Wayne W Dyer (Tweet this)
5. Sometimes you will fail to keep a positive mindset
Some people have faced the most inexplicably hard situations in their life with a bravery that can inspire the rest of us. It does not mean that they succeeded to do so all the time, but I am sure they continued to remind themselves. Viktor Frankl endured great hardships in the concentration camps during World War II, but saw that a search for meaning amidst the greatest of suffering gave people a reason to keep living.
If you look back on a situation and see that your negative thinking contributed to it, you are not likely to feel better by beating yourself up. Forgive yourself for your failures, they were probably out of your hands anyway, and take steps to rectify them moving forward. Positive thinking can be a challenge in many circumstances, but any effort you make is worthwhile.
6. Stop trying to control the situation or other people
If you do not like a situation you are more likely to want to control it or others around you. The boss who sets up and fires employees who speak up about their bad decisions is seeking to control the environment around him so that he does not have to face his feelings or lose his good reputation. The choice to face his feelings, speak the truth and surrender to the outcome will be far more positive in the long term.
We cannot control how others perceive us, or the outcome of many of life’s adventures, but we can choose how we respond to them.
The most positive people will surrender to the flow of life and the challenges that come along with it. It is not giving up, they are making an effort to find the best in their circumstances. Nothing is really under our control and our attempts to control a situation, rather than respond to it, will only cause frustration and pain in the future.
7. Remember who you really are
Beneath all your egoic thoughts lies a divine being seeking to dance upon the playground of life. Your challenges can either take you away from that knowingness of your divinity or cause you to claim it even more deeply. Your abundance is not dependent on how much money you have in your bank; it is a state of wholeness that resides within you in even the most bleak of moments.
Love is not just something that exists within others, or that you give to them, it is who you are underneath all the fear, hate and anxiety. You do not benefit from trying to control the situations and circumstances you find yourself in but you can use them to remind you who you are underneath all the exterior projections.
Your mind can remind you of this with simple “I AM” statements. “I am abundant.” “I am divine.” “I am love.” These are truths about who you are and the “I am” statements will allow you to live more readily from this place.
Is it possible to maintain a positive mindset in any situation in life? That is an experiment for you to conduct in your own life!!