How do I start to be positive and stay that way?

by Candace
(Canada)

Question:

About a year ago a friend told me about the power of thinking positive. I have read several books and receive newsletters from websites. I really believe in thinking positive and I know that it works. I am having a hard time bringing it into my life and using it on a daily basis. When something happens I instantly have a negative reaction and don't see the positive until my friend points it out to me. What do you suggest I do?

Answer:

This is a question I am sure, is on the minds of many people discovering the power of positive thinking for the first time. So, first I want to thank you for asking such a probing question.

I remember what it was like the first time I was introduced to the power of positive thinking. I was only 18 or so and it took several years before I truly started to understand it and how to use it in my own life for the better. I too struggled with not being able to see the positive in my many circumstances. I wasn’t taught how to turn negatives into positives, so naturally I did what I knew which was to get upset and panic and sometimes just try to sleep it away.

What I found was that thinking positive takes a little practice. It’s just like learning how to ride a bike. The first time you get on a bike you don’t know how to balance it and you certainly are not going to be jumping ramps or doing any fancy tricks. As a matter of fact most people start out with training wheels. They focus only on balancing the bike and riding it from point A to point B. They don’t try to go off ramps or ride with no hands the first few go arounds.

Positive thinking can be looked at in much the same way. To start you don’t need to try and make everything positive. That can be very overwhelming for someone who is not used to thinking positively. So, start with some training wheels and once you get your balance then start worrying about the big tricks.

So, what would training wheels look like for positive thinking, you ask? Good question. One of the most powerful of all human emotions is gratitude. So what I did to get my balance was to start a gratitude journal that I used to write down 5 things I was grateful for that day.

I also tried to pay attention to when I was thinking negative about something. Now, I didn’t try to turn that negative into a positive, because at that time I didn’t always see how. So, what I would do is if I was in a bad mood, I would ask myself why, acknowledge what I was feeling and then I would go outside or wherever I could find something to appreciate. I would identify 3 things I was grateful for in that moment. For example: I would smell a flower take the deep fragrance in and be grateful for the beauty in this world, then I might sit and watch the squirrels play for a few minutes and smile, and maybe if it was fall, play in the leaves for a few minutes. These are things that make me happy.

Identify things that make you happy, so that you can call upon those things when you are feeling negative. This will take some practice. Just as riding a bike with training wheels does. What I did to help me was write down things that made me happy on little sticky notes and placed them around my apartment so as to remind me to think of those things when I was feeling negative.

Once This had become a regular routine and I felt comfortable I got a little bolder with my training wheels. I didn’t take them off just yet, I just went over some rougher terrain with them on, to see how I would do. I started by thinking back to things that had happened in my life that, at the time it was happening, I thought it was the worst thing in the world. Then I thought about how it turned out in the end.

I thought about break-ups, that had felt like the end of the world, I thought about the many times I had a job I couldn’t stand, about fights with my family, about financially hard times. Then I thought about where those break-ups, fights, and financial struggles had led me and I thought about what they had taught me and then I thanked God for each and every one of them because every time I thought about those things I smiled at the end result.

I can honestly say that those things that I once viewed as negative turned out in the end to be something I was thankful for. It doesn’t happen overnight and they certainly weren’t things I would be grateful for as they were happing, but looking back, it all worked out for the best. It is harder to do this with things that just happened because you can’t see the end result just yet, but if you can get used to finding the positive in past negatives then it will become easier to accept that what may appear to be a negative in this moment will eventually become a positive. This is when you can start to take the training wheels off.

I hope this has helped you to find a starting place for being positive and hopefully I gave you enough information to keep you positive until you are ready to take the training wheels off and ride on your own.

P.S.
Remember that not all negative thoughts are bad and that no one is positive all the time. Simply try adding positives into your life just to offset some of the negatives and you will be on the right track.

P.P.S.
I would like to ask some of our visitors to chime in and add some tips and tricks they use to get and stay positive on a daily basis because their answers too, can benefit many, many people. Again thank you for asking such a good question, I’m sure there are lots of people reading this right now that are grateful that you asked it.

Also, if you feel this did not answer your question, please feel free to tell me why or what I could do to assist you better.

Comments for How do I start to be positive and stay that way?

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Jul 20, 2010
thank you
by: bonnidette (admin)

It is because of people like you that are not affraid of asking the tough questions, that so many others may benifit. So I just want to thank you agian for asking such a good question. I know our other visitors are greatful that you did.

Jul 15, 2010
Thank you
by: Candace

Thank you so much. I have searched everywhere and have never found any explantion on how to begin thinking positive. You answered my question and so much more. Again, thank you!

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