Positive thinking is more than just a way to think about something; it is actually a lifestyle. Some people go about their whole lives thinking in a positive way about everything they come across. We all know the struggle every day to wake with a smile on your face and think about everything in a positive light, but somehow people do it every day.
Now what is positive thinking?
Simply put, it is a mental and emotional attitude that focuses on the bright side of life and expects positive results. It is characteristic of someone who anticipates happiness and believes they can overcome any obstacle or difficulty that comes into their life.
Load of bullcrap, right? You’re probably thinking it’s just some made up thing or some sort of extension of the hippies’ “just relax, man” type of living. But it is not; there is actually some benefits to positive thinking in our lives. Now I do not mean drop everything you are doing and change the whole cognitive way you process everything. That just would not work. You do not have to adopt this lifestyle to get the benefits from it. With a positive mindset to everything you do, it will improve your overall situation.
Having a positive attitude will make you happier, obviously, and with that brighten you up and make the people around you happier. What I mean by this is, if you’ve ever been around someone who isn’t the cheeriest person in the world, they kind of bring you down a bit; well that’s what positive thinking is trying to stop.
So that exam you had last week and you woke up and remembered you had it the morning of it. First thought, panic, second thought, where’s my notebook, I must remember everything. Evidently you walk into the exam thinking about how horribly you are going to do, and you blank on everything because you cannot get the idea of you failing out of your head. Ever think that that is actually the reason you failed? Because you told yourself you were going to fail. Let that sink in for a moment.
So what I just told you is that you can control the outcome of your exam by simply thinking about it, well not exactly. Imagine if you thought positively in this situation; you did not think about what you did not know, but about what you actually knew. You could focus what you remembered from your notes and the lectures, and then everything would fall into place.
Now I am not saying do not study for anything and just let everything fall into place, because that is not positive thinking. Let’s introduce something called mindfulness. In the theory of mindfulness, there are two sides of the brain that are used in thinking and making decisions. One is the emotional side of the brain; the other is the rational side of the brain. Someone who is thinking too much with their emotional brain will most likely overreact to a situation, get caught up in the moment, and let their emotions run the show, and we all know that never ends very well. Now someone who thinks too rationally is the opposite, they rule out emotions and think only quantitatively about something, like Spock to all you Leonard Nimoy fans.
What mindfulness entails is using both sides of the mind to employ what is called a wise mind. A wise mind is one which does not let emotions take control and turn it into a derailed train and uses reason to make sense of everything. Now I myself try my best to use mindfulness and think in the moment about something, and I can say it works.
So positive thinking helps keep you happy and looking at the bright side of life, now how do you do it? Well there is no simple answer to that really, it is all up to you. Whatever people say to you, you cannot let it get to you too much; that is the emotional side taking over.
You have to not let what other people think of you control your happiness
In the end, you’re the only one that is going to be there for you, so you have to be happy for you. The simple way to positive thinking is really just to keep everything in the light, do not dwell on the past; do not see the world as a glass half empty. See every failure as an opportunity for development and take everything that comes at you in a positive way. The world is your canvas; you have to forge your own path, go forward without looking back, and make sure you keep smiling.