By Vladimir Marchenko
- What is positive thinking
- How to achieve positive thinking
- Mistakes of positive people
- New insights into positive thinking and how to achieve it
Positive thinking allows a person not only withstand life’s hardships but also create a new reality. It proceeds from the fact that a thought is primary and charged with energy that is enough to change the personality, attract all the best to your life and fulfil your most cherished desires.
What is positive thinking
Positive thinking is understood as a broad direction in philosophy and psychology that is related to positive psychology. It is based on the conviction that one can tune himself for good using a set of techniques (affirmations, visualisation, meditation, mindfulness) and by changing one’s way of thinking, which in its turn increases the level of optimism and satisfaction and the very quality of life.
Positive thinking is widely used by both business-coaches, readers of business literature and lifehackers, as well as people who practice esotericism and other mystical teachings. That’s why there occurs a confusion of concepts and false believes that “programming for success” neither works nor proved to be effective. However, here are at least three studies that showed the efficiency of positive perception of oneself and the world around:
- Psychological stress and the human immune system: a meta-analytic study of 30 years of inquiry;
- The power of positive thinking: Pathological worry is reduced by thought replacement in Generalized Anxiety Disorder;
- The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success?
At the same time, positive thinking doesn’t imply avoiding problems and living in a fancy information “bubble” that allows you to expect that everything will “fall from the sky” if only you visualise it every day. It is a long journey that will demand effort and real action and can also go hand in hand with failure.
How to achieve positive thinking
As you may know, Thomas Edison believed that he hadn’t failed once while creating and improving the incandescent lamp bulb, he only discovered 10 000 ways that didn’t work. This is the very first rule of positive thinking:
“Failures are the roads to new opportunities”
It comes from stoicism and means that any misfortune can be turned to your advantage. Got fired? Maybe it is time to start your own business. Your trusted broker disappeared with all your profits? Well, probably you need to study the nuances of stock trading yourself. The toxic relationship came to an end — it’s a chance to build the ones that will satisfy you more.
“Get rid of negative words and connotations”
These are the expressions with “no/not”. Although it is believed that negative particles are not perceived by our brain, repeating phrases like “I don’t know”, “I don’t have ideas”, “I can’t do it” reduce the likelihood of a positive outcome. In this case, it’s better to say “I will learn from people who are competent”, “I need to think it over, I will find a way”, “I will try no matter what”.
“Create a digest of your positive traits”
In the modern world, one can often be criticised and put down, which affects one’s self-esteem. However, if you remind yourself about all the positive qualities that you have, valuable experience, achievements and personal victories, you can greatly improve it. All you need to integrate this positive experience is a piece of paper, where you will make three columns: “Strengths”, “Achievements”, “Things to be improved”. Refer to this list regularly and pay attention to gradually transferring your notes from the last column into the first two.
“Live a perfect day, week. year, life”
The fulfilment of all desires is only in our hands. American psychologist Martin E. P. Seligman, one of the founders of positive psychology, recommends thinking in detail about the future ideal day and then trying to live it as intended. It is especially important to complete the main points from your list (go to a park, walk 10 000 steps, have a healthy dinner). It doesn’t matter if you don’t succeed in completing everything 100%, the next time it will turn out better. Try to live your "ideal" day every day, turning it into a month and all your life.
“Personal list of gratitudes”
Gratitude to someone or the entire Universe is already a very strong positive impulse. However, while it is easy to thank for the good, negative situations are much harder to be grateful for. Sometimes, to achieve this transition where you feel general gratitude for the experience and wisdom gained, it is advised to highlight five points every day that are worth saying thanks for. Day by day, bright colours will begin to emerge on the grey background as you keep your diary and make regular notes of gratitude, turning your diary into a chronicle of positive events and experiences.
“Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who are you”
It’s difficult to stay active and positive when you are surrounded by constant complaints and whining. Especially, if this occurs regularly and comes from the same people in your surroundings. To keep your spirit up, it’s quite important to interact with creative like-minded people. In this case, the whole atmosphere around you will be filled with positivity, which in itself will improve your inner state and well-being.
“Leave the past in the past”
Unpleasant memories and actions you feel embarrassed about, as well as the mistakes of the past - all these are the anchors from your previous life that you have been collecting for too long. Moreover, there is now a rewarding experience in the emotional burden of the past. To clear your mind from intrusive life episodes, it is advised to imagine how the "picture" with them gradually burns out or dissolves in water without a trace.
“Find strength in the world around you”
We often associate the feeling of happiness and satisfaction with some big achievement (like wealth or world fame). But even such seemingly unconditional attributes of happiness do not always bring satisfaction to their owners. Positive thinking teaches you to find happiness in small things (a beautiful sunset, a glass of your favourite wine, a casual pleasant companion). Meditation practices and visualization will help you with it.
Charity, support, and empathy carry a powerful energy boost not only for the recipient but also for the person who helps others. Here, the effect of "being needed by other people” is triggered, and also the appreciations you receive from others. Besides, the realization that others' problems may be quite serious makes you take a more adequate look at your own troubles.
“Aim and achieve”
No matter how difficult some of the tasks may seem, even the longest road is mastered by the one walking. Orienteers (like: I want to learn a foreign language, move to another country/city, find a new job) allow you to maintain a positive attitude over long distances. When setting big goals, it is very important to reward yourself for intermediate achievements: the end of the first course of study, the accumulation of half of the amount necessary for the purchase, getting, even if not a job yet, but an internship in a large company.
Mistakes of positive people
As with any other ability, it’s important to know how to handle positive thinking. Otherwise, it can bring more trouble than good.
1. "Positive bum." Such a person radiates inexhaustible optimism, he has no problems, and everything is fine in words. However, this is only because this individual does nothing either for himself or for others. Usually, he is completely focused on the present moment and therefore has no problems. In large companies such employees are charged for success, they encourage and inspire everyone around, but people can hardly see what a given employee is doing. Yes, it is fun around them both during working hours and at corporate events, but nothing more. Such individuals have adopted external positive thinking, without making the necessary internal changes.
2. "Sincere fool." Such a person is convinced from the bottom of his heart that he will succeed, and the energy from his ideas would be enough to maintain electricity supply of a small town. He believes in his uniqueness and undoubtful success, constantly planning strange and often notoriously impossible projects, such as creating a perpetual motion machine or turning rivers backwards. However, upon facing the laws of nature or circumstances that are not easy to overcome, all his energy vanishes. Exactly until the next exciting idea. Of course, without such dreamers, there would be no aeroplanes or pocket PCs in the world, but the difference is that it were competent people that were involved in achieving the impossible, moreover, went through a lot of trial and error until they reached their goal, while our hero almost instantly abandons any attempts to look for potential solutions.
3. "Furious believer." Such a character has a lot in common with the previous one, but at the same time he is content with the already existing knowledge and opinions. If something catches him (f.e. a book on how to change life in 7 steps), this person would be charged with incredible enthusiasm and would try to convert others to his new “faith”. And if a certain pattern or approach worked for him (pain after meditation passed or digestion was normalized from two miracle pills), then he would turn into an adept more devoted to the “recipe” than even its creators. It is important to understand that “positive thinking” consists of two words and the word “thinking”, as the ability to critically assess reality, is quite important here. Therefore, some vague advice may not serve as a panacea for all people.
New insights into positive thinking and how to achieve it
The set of techniques for tuning oneself into positive thoughts has been known for a long time. What changes over time is only the shell, while the content remains the same - regular practice and a strong belief that life does change with every element of the autotraining. A number of specialised mobile apps also appeared, and Hypnopedia app really stands out among them. Its main difference is that the algorithm of the app works indirectly, instead of you consciously repeating the affirmations each day, the app plays them at night, which has a direct impact on the subconscious part of the psyche and uses the hidden reserves of the brain to pump your mental health. The affirmations don’t wake a user up, and the application itself chooses the best moment to read them, based on the data received from AppleWatch. As a result, your positive thinking is being formed without your active participation at night, while the effect persists after awakening. You can download app here:Ссылка App Store
Now you know a bit more about how to have positive thinking. In any case, all the necessary potential to achieve joy is already inside of us. It doesn’t mean you will face neither life challenges nor the necessity to take difficult decisions. However, positive thinking will make you take a fresh look at yourself and the world around.