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The Power of Positive Thinking

My son loves going for rides in my old Corvette.

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.   ~Anthony J. D’Angelo, The College Blue Book

Well, I have already blown one of my New Years resolutions, which was to write a post a week. Well, sometimes life just happens, and that’s okay. I have had an extremely hectic past few weeks, and this week looks like more of the same. One thing that I have had to constantly remind myself over and over again during the hectic past few weeks has been to simply, “stay positive”. Staying positive is relatively simple, yet it has profoundly positive effects on our moods, emotions, and overall quality of life, because it helps you to make the best out of life and enjoy your present moment (living in the now).

If you stop and think about it, our moods and emotions (feelings) are largely governed by our thoughts. For example, when you are stressed out about something, you are probably running a constant stream of thoughts through your mind involving the cause of the stress (stressor). Also, if you are angry with someone, you are likewise probably running a stream of thoughts through your mind reminding yourself of all the ways you have been wronged, and how you are justifiably angry. Even negative feelings towards our jobs and relationships are governed by our thoughts towards the relationship or situation.

We should strive to stop running the constant negative thought streams through our minds, because they only serve to reinforce negative feelings and emotions. By staying positive and upbeat, you gain control of your moods and emotions, because you can stop the constant stream of negative or unproductive thoughts that lead to negative or undesirable moods and emotions. By staying positive and upbeat you can focus on positive aspects, which naturally lead to happier and more upbeat thoughts and emotions.

Sometimes just remembering the positive aspects of a relationship or situation can help. For example, when I am having a bad day at work, or an extremely hectic and stressful day/week (as has recently been the case), instead of allowing myself to become miserable and disgruntled with my job, I try to focus on the many good things about my job. Also, I try to remain thankful for my job by reminding myself of the nervous anxiousness and numerous prayers given by myself, and on my behalf, during the interview process, and how thankful I was when I found out that I had in fact been hired.

Also, when you feel anger or depression due to a friendship or relationship (as long as it is not abusive or somehow harmful, in which case you should seek to end it), try and remember the good times with your friend or partner, try to focus on positive aspects of your relationship, and remember that being angry or negative is not only hurting you, but it is also hurting the relationship that is important to you. Also, by being a positive influence in the relationship, you can redirect it in a positive direction, which is beneficial for all parties involved.

Finally, if you are trying to accomplish a goal, break a habit, etc., stay positive and don’t let bumps in the road, or relapses, negatively impact your progress. Just remember that most things worth doing don’t come easily, and habits weren’t formed in a day, so small hiccups are to be expected, and look at them as motivation to continue down whatever path you are trodding.

PRACTICAL TIPS: I am a huge fan of analyzing thoughts and emotions to find their root cause (treat the disease not the symptom). If you are feeling depressed or stressed, evaluate the root cause of your emotions, don’t simply let them fester. Once you have identified the cause of negativity or stress, you can then try to direct it in a positive direction, or simply release the anger or negative feelings/associations, and move on. Also, if you are feeling angry about a situation or relationship, instead of thinking about the negative aspects, simply try to focus on the positive aspects, and then seek to actively address, rectify, or even simply release the negative aspects.

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. ~Winston Churchill

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Also please check out my book, “The Path: Using the Religions of the World as a Guide to Personal and Spiritual Development.” (Click on the book cover to view on Amazon.com)

  1. bc
    January 23, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    thank you, very well written!

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