How to think positive thoughts no matter what

How to think positive thoughts no matter what

What kind of a person are you? Do you see a glass as half-empty or half-full? Do you tend to look for a silver lining whenever things don’t go the way you wanted? Or is it easy for you to drown in the negative thoughts?

Numerous studies have demonstrated that our thoughts have a tangible impact on our physical and mental health. Choosing to think positive thoughts is definitely a better choice to make if you want to live a happy and healthy life.

A study published in 2017 in “American Journal of Epidemiology” followed 70,000 women in the period between 2004 and 2012 and discovered that those women who were optimistic demonstrated a much lower risk of dying from such major diseases like:

– Cancer
– Stroke
– Heart diseases
– Respiratory diseases
– Infections

The study also showed that those women who chose a positive attitude exhibited a much lower risk of suffering from depression.

Positive thinking can certainly contribute to good mental and physical health. It can also give you more confidence and belief in your abilities.

So how does it actually work?

How do your thoughts influence your life?

Ralph Waldo Emerson said:

“As a man thinketh, so is he, and

As a man chooseth, so is he.”

Whatever we think about most of the time sooner or later becomes our experience. Our thoughts engage our emotions. Once thoughts and emotional charge come together, they define how you see the world around you and how you react to events in your life.

Your thoughts won’t completely change the reality that you live in but they will completely change how you perceive and react to that reality.

So whether you affirm your positive outlook on life or a negative one determines how you feel about yourself and your life.

RAS explained

The system responsible for turning your thoughts into reality is called the Reticular Activating System (RAS).

RAS takes what you focus on and creates a filter for it. Then it sifts through the data you get during the day and lets in only that information that you focus on.

Pretty amazing, don’t you think?

Have you ever chosen a new car and then started to see it on every second street? That is your RAS working, sifting through all the cars you see in the streets and making you notice the one car that you are interested in the most.

Or perhaps you learned a new word and then suddenly you heard that word everywhere? That’s also your RAS at work.

In this way, RAS also knows what your main thoughts are and your beliefs about yourself and your reality. Knowing what you believe is true about you, it will look for information that will validate your beliefs. Therefore, in a way, you are always right. Your RAS always listens and it says “yes” to everything that you think.

That’s why it is so important to train yourself to think positive thoughts even on your worst day.

Here are some strategies that might help you reprogram your mind.

1. Let go of negative thoughts as quickly as you can

Avoid dwelling on negativity for a long period of time. I know that sometimes it is really not easy to move on quickly.

Even recently, I felt quite triggered by one person with whom I have to be in touch. Her attitude towards me made me feel insecure and for a couple of days, I felt really poisoned by the whole situation.

My mind was full of negative thoughts about that person and about the whole situation. Two days of anxious thoughts!

Luckily after those two days, I made a conscious decision to sit down, calm my mind and ask myself what it is that triggers me so much in this situation. I got the answer very quickly. And then I made a conscious decision to choose a new reaction. I chose to react from a position of love instead of fear.

Shifting my perspective changed my thoughts too. Instead of looking at the whole situation through the lens of my old programming, I made a decision that I don’t want to be like this anymore.

Letting go of negative thoughts is a process that requires a lot of mindfulness. The first step is making a conscious decision that you want to feed yourself and your mind with positive and loving thoughts. Then you need to constantly monitor your thoughts. Especially at the beginning, it might be a bit tiring because our mind is hardly ever idle.

But once you make the decision and you are committed to making this change happen, it is really rewarding to see the results.

So decide here and now that that’s what you are going to do. Decide now that you are going to choose carefully what thoughts you are letting in because your thoughts directly shape your reality. If you want to live a happy and fulfilling life, you need to start by choosing the thoughts that will help you create life from your dreams.

2. Practise gratitude no matter what

Gratitude is the real superpower that you can develop. Remember that what you focus on, grows. So when you start focusing on all the blessings you have in your life, even more blessings will flow towards you.

There have been numerous studies conducted that showed how beneficial gratitude really is for your mind and your body.

Making gratitude your daily practice will reprogram and refocus your RAS. Noticing good things will make it much easier for you to choose positive thoughts on a daily basis.

You might be thinking right now that sometimes life brings you such tough experiences that it is difficult to find something to be grateful for. I agree that sometimes life can get overwhelming. Things can happen that seem so painful that you don’t have a lot of energy to think about what you are grateful for.

To be honest, these are probably the moments when you need to practise gratitude the most. These are the moments when you need to do whatever it takes in order not to drown in despair and negativity and gratitude might help you do that.

But if you do have a day when you really can’t find anything you are grateful for, make a list of things that you really like. This exercise will lighten your energy too.

Try it out the next time you feel heaviness in your heart. Maybe you can come up with your own individual gratitude practice. It’s good to come up with something that really resonates with you. That will be the practice that works best.

3. Feed your mind with positivity

Your mind is never idle. It always thinks something. It is always at work. So if you have the tendency to think negative thoughts, it will look for an opportunity to notice even more reasons for you to be negative.

But when you train yourself to focus on positive things, it will follow you and look for positivity in your life.

So make it your priority to read, listen or watch things that inspire you to be positive. Choose an area that you are interested in and immerse yourself in positive materials about it. Your mind will follow you and use its energy on creativity and positivity.

One of my favourite people to listen to is Louise L. Hay and her affirmations. Here is a link to one of her videos.

4. Stay in the present moment

Whenever your mind seems to be wandering away into negative thinking, bring it back to the present moment.

You can do it by simply asking yourself what you can see/hear/touch in the present moment? Your mind can only think about one thing at a time so reconnecting with your senses will distract it from pursuing the trail of negative thoughts.

5. Develop more self-love

“It is not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself and make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.”

– Mandy Hale

When you decide to make your happiness your priority, you will automatically commit to creating positive, optimistic thoughts.

When you start to truly love yourself for who you are, you will automatically choose only those thoughts that serve you well.

You won’t feel tempted to waste your energy on negativity as you will value yourself too much.

If you would like to learn how to develop more self-love, I shared some strategies in this video.

And also in this article.

Self-love is not about vanity, it is about full acceptance and respect towards the unique individual that you are. Choosing self-love means choosing a life of positivity, happiness and fulfilment.

You can’t create a positive and happy life with a negative mind. Everything you see in your life right now started with a thought. That thought led to action and that’s how things manifested into your physical reality.

If there is an area of your life that you would like to change, you need to make a decision to change the way you think about that part of your life. Consider making a conscious effort to change the pattern of your thoughts.

Your mind is constantly occupied with the thinking process. If you let it run loose, it will most probably direct its energy towards negativity. It’s called negativity bias and it was first identified by Paul Rozin and Edward B. Royzman.

Negativity is rooted in prehistoric times when our ancestors had to fight for their lives, hunt and be constantly mindful of all kinds of danger lurking around the corner.

Now, these times have passed, your life is not in danger on a daily basis so the system that used to be extremely helpful to our ancestors, now gets in the way of our fulfilment.

Luckily, your mind is extremely flexible and with some effort and consistency, you can retrain it to be more focused on positivity.

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