My resolution for 2013 was to be more positive and it’s been an insightful journey, filled with ups and downs. However, I’ve been learning a few things about myself and the power of positive thinking.
Here are a few lessons I’ve learned:
1. Balance is key.
It’s really hard to think positively when you don’t get enough sleep or eat poorly. Exercising, eating right and getting a full night’s rest is one of the easiest way to control emotions and to think more clearly.
2. Think outside the box.
It’s easy to get in the habit of wanting only one thing and developing expectations. For example, if I make plans to get together with a friend, it’s easy to get discouraged when plans change. Instead, think of alternatives. If this doesn’t work, then I’ll have more time for _______________ instead. Thinking outside your expectations helps ease disappointment if the original plans don’t work. It reverses the situation into a win-win.
3. Q-TIP (Quit Taking It Personally).
Criticism is hard to take, especially when it’s not asked for. Understand, first of all, that what they might’ve said might be a product of a bad day that had nothing to do with you. However, be able to retract truth in their words. Maybe there’s something you’re doing to hurt others. Regardless of what they said or how they said it, think about what you’ll do differently and get past the hurt you might be feeling.
4. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
One of the best ways to think more positively is to guard what you see and what you say. Our culture can influence the way we think, so it’s important to be careful what you take in. It’s equally as important to think before you speak. Just as we are easily influenced by our culture, others are influenced by our words. Think back to the last few times you’ve posted on your favorite social media platform. Was it positive? The more you speak positively, the more you’ll think positively.
5. Stop worrying about things you can’t change.
Sometimes in life there will be things you cannot change. Rather than obsessing over them or constantly worrying, think about the many things there are to be thankful for.
6. Cut out the comparisons.
I tend to be a competitive person from time to time. Always remember that comparison will rob you of all joy. Your life should never be about keeping up with the Jones’ because someone will always be worse than you and better that you at something. Don’t let those distinctions ruin it for you. Rather, focus on doing the best you can do in every area and stop worrying about who might be ahead or behind you.
7. Kindness goes a long way.
Can you remember a time when someone said something that brightened your day? It feels good to help others feel good. Acknowledge others and make them feel appreciated through random acts of kindness, hand-written notes and positive affirmations. Always try to look for the good in others rather in the bad and it will lighten your mood.
“Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don’t waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.” ~ Og Mandino