My great-grandfather was a powerful proponent of positive thinking. He used to give out the book “You can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought” to family and friends and it was clear that he expected them to read it and learn from it. He passed away when I was in my mid-teens but his influence is still with me today.
He was a very positive and kind person. He actively chose to look at life on the bright side. I am sure he had many challenges in his life but he seemed to be able to see the world from a perspective that turned bad things into valuable experiences and opportunities for growth. I am grateful that I was able to know him and feel his influence in my own thinking. Here are a few tips that I use to keep my thinking positive:
-We have more control over our thoughts than we take responsibility for. Emotions happen, our response is our choice. Getting clear about that, practicing choosing a positive response , is key to maintaining a positive outlook.
-Look at the big picture. Getting stuck in the details and minutiae of life makes it difficult to see things from the long term perspective. In the moment little things turn into big things. Remember to take a step back and ask yourself, does this really matter? Small irritating events are part of life, but in the long run they do not matter. Don’t let them derail your positive thinking.
-Take good care of yourself. Staying positive is much easier when you are feeling well physically, supported emotionally and inspired creatively. If you notice your thoughts slipping into darkness, check in with yourself. Where are you lacking care and support?
-Dial down the intensity. Emotional reactions create intensity. One way that I turn down the intensity is to really feel my emotions in the moment. Get mad, cry, sing, dance, scream, whatever you need to do to, express the emotion. Get it out, and then choose the thoughts.
I went deeper on this topic on Kindred Spirits.
Watch the show here!