Be Your Own Sunshine! Consider the Glass Half Full! Look at the Bright Side! ….. It’s all about going Gaga on Optimism and here’s how you too, can practice positivity and be a more positive person.
Are you Somebody who beams with positivity, confidence and optimism each day? OR
Are you the one who’s always complaining and wailing about everything in life?
While for some, being positive comes almost naturally, for others they have to put in efforts and learn being a positive person. And this is something that’s easier said than done.
Do you know why??
The answer lies in the fact that as humans, we are designed to be negative. To understand this, we need to go back to the ages of our (Great)n Grand Ancestors, for whom the primal priority was Existence. They feared almost everything – getting killed by predators, extreme weather conditions, unknown diseases and had an everyday struggle of making a kill to survive.
It’s strange to see that despite being the most evolved, most intelligent and most advanced of the human species, we still have the same thinking process.
We still fear and worry about almost everything like the historic times. We worry about our future, past, present, our professional lives as well as our personal lives. And all this fear and worry further gives way to regrets, resentment, hate, anger, complaints, criticism, jealousy etc. – again all things negative.
That means Negative thinking is bad, Is it?
Psychologically, negative thoughts help in better assessment of risky situations at hand.
Morally, emoting negatively for others and oneself is definitely bad because these feelings suck out all the happiness, satisfaction and exuberance from life. You become a person who’s always complaining, sad, rigid and blind to all the good things in life.
Physically, prolonged exposure to negative thoughts can cause stress in our bodies. When there’s a lot of stress, cortisol hormone is produced and too much of cortisol can actually, weaken our immune system. Thus, making us more prone to diseases. In fact, medical studies from time to time have shown that depending on the level of stress, one might develop ailments like Hypertension, Anxiety, Depression, Mood Disorders, Cardiovascular Diseases, Diabetes, Infections, Body pains, Cough and Cold, Sore throat, Problems in Concentrating, Decision Making, Thinking Clearly, Memory etc.
So, Optimistic or Positive people don’t think negatively??
They do but this is how they do it differently.
It is imperative to understand here that negative thinking is almost inevitable and also, important because it helps us to understand and evaluate the dangers we face and further helps to find a solution to the troubling issues (unless, we stubbornly make up our minds to delve on them, wail, cry and do nothing else).
Then, What is positive thinking?
Positive thinking not just means being hopeful, optimistic and having an ‘I can’ attitude towards the curve balls that life throws at us but it is also, about taking into perspective the negativity that arises out of these curve balls.
So, a positive mindset also pertains to analyzing and evaluating the risks and threats that arise out of a negative situation and then working out a possible solution. It is very much possible that despite, all the planning and efforts, things still go wrong. The ability to accept the results/ situation at hand and reacting accordingly, also forms a part of positive thinking.
It’s more about controlling one’s own behavior and reaction to the worldly gains and pains rather than trying to control the world around.
Clearly, negative emotions are important but they can lead to a lot of upheaval in our everyday lives. Hence, the best way out is that we practice being positive.
Let’s look at certain ways that can help one in having a positive frame of mind :
Too much thinking is anyway taxing and if it is negative, one can imagine the kind of stress it creates.
Writing about the troubling issues can be a great way of cleansing your internal system. So, whenever you feel burnt out by the continuous thread of thoughts running in your head, just vomit them out on a piece of paper.
Having a heart to heart conversation with somebody trustworthy would have a similar effect.
2. Think about your Thinking
Once, you have had your emotional detox, it’s time that you make a conscious effort to see the kind of thoughts, you are putting back in.
Completely dump the thoughts that are pointless and vague but cause worry. However, keep those that are backed by logic and relevance wrapped in a perspective of positivity.
Your thinking horses should be put to work that really matters. Why waste your energy and effort on something that’s not important.
Certain thinking patterns have a relation with something we do on a day to day basis. Finding this relation can actually help us to have a remedy.
4. Smile, Choose Happiness
Consciously, choose to be happy. When you smile, happiness hormones are released in the brain. So, when you are happy, you feel positive and when you feel positive, you are happier. It’s all inter-related.
5. Breathe Deeply
Practice breathing exercises like Pranayama or simply try Meditation.
Focusing on the breath is an excellent way of de-stressing oneself. Deep breathing helps in calming the mind, reducing stress, anxiety, promoting emotional health, improves focus, helps in generating feelings of positivity and compassion towards oneself and others.
Start with 15 – 20 minutes of daily practice and as you become an adept, increase your time span.
6. Take your Me Time
Self-Love is the greatest love of all. Honesty to self is the only guarantee of honesty to others.
Hence, never undermine the importance of appreciating and working on/for oneself. Take a break, a personal timeout, practice a hobby, develop a new skill set, do that one thing you have been wanting to do since a long time – anything that makes you feel happy and relaxed.
7. Practice Gratitude
Practice Positivity by practicing Gratitude. Time and again, studies have shown that the habit of being grateful or saying a thank you makes people more and more positive, happier and healthier.
Exercising causes the release of chemicals like Serotonin, Endorphins, Dopamine etc in the brain. These chemicals are related to mood regulation and pleasure. They make us feel good, happy and induce positive feelings.
9. Surround yourself with Positivity
Photographs of your loved ones, your achievement mementos, plants; soothing music, colours, pictures, fragrances; inspirational quotes – everything that makes you feel good and positive.
Not to forget, the people around you. Connect with happier people, those who encourage and motivate you to do better and achieve rather than those who keep pulling you down.
Help somebody in need since that would make you feel good inside.
10. Keep yourself Engaged
Be the Busy Bee. Our minds tend to wander when there isn’t stimulation. So, keep yourself involved in meaningful activities – unlearn-learn-relearn, volunteer, travel, be a do gooder, help – This will give you a sense of fulfilment and happiness.
In general conversation, optimism/ motivation/ positivity have become very over-rated terms. But unfortunately, the process that makes one an optimist/ a motivated or positive person is too under rated.
It’s important that we add some value to our entire living process – Cherish every moment we have, count our blessings and treasure our loved ones.
Remember, we live only once then why not live to the fullest !!!