Happiness Through Positive Thinking
Too often we put our lives on hold. Instead of appreciating the way things are right now, we believe that we’ll only be happy if external conditions were met. Instead of relying on these outside factors, you must learn to turn inward and realize that your happiness depends on only one thing—your very own thinking. The way you think about a situation frames your entire perception.
You may also have an inner voice telling you that you can do it, that you can reach your goal. But sometimes, that inner voice could be distracted, a little discouraged or even intimidated. Sometimes, it lacks conviction. Sometimes, you need an external voice telling you the same thing, reinforcing your confidence and determination.
Having a sense of gratitude about the people and things in your life is another way of feeling happy with what you have. Take a few minutes before bed to list the good things that happened today, from enjoying your favorite cup of coffee to meeting a great new friend. It’s not the big events in life that make us happy but the small, almost unnoticed, things that add up to a satisfying life. The only constant you will have in your life is your relationship with yourself. People will come and go, material possessions can be taken away or lost, but you will always remain. And how you feel about yourself will make a big difference in how you interpret your life.
Optimism & Positive Thinking
Being an optimist or a pessimist boils down to the way you talk to yourself. Optimists believe that their own actions result in positive things happening, that they are responsible for their own happiness, and that they can expect more good things to happen in the future.
Optimists don’t blame themselves when bad things happen. They view bad events as results of something outside of themselves. Because of their thought processes, optimists have much brighter futures. A bad circumstance or event is taken in stride, viewed as a temporary setback—not a permanent way of life. Even if something bad happens today, a positive thinker believes that good things will come again in the future.
If you put yourself in a positive frame of mind, you can accomplish anything. If you can clearly see your goal, see that it’s within your grasp, there’s nothing stopping you. That’s why surrounding yourself with positive images and visual reminders can be just what the doctor ordered. Optimists tend to share several other positive characteristics that increase overall happiness and promote health, while reducing depression and chronic stress.
One of the quickest ways to boost your spirits and keep motivation high is to keep a positive picture of your goal close by. A picture or other visual of your ultimate goal is a huge motivator. Having it around all the time is a voice of encouragement whispering in your ear, helping you stay focused on the prize and energized to overcome any obstacle
Pessimism & Negative Thinking
Pessimists always tend to think the opposite way. They blame themselves for the bad things that happen in their lives and think that one mistake means more will inevitably come. Pessimists see positive events as flukes that are outside of their control—a lucky streak that probably won’t happen again. Negative self-talk can easily turn into a damaging self-fulfilling prophecy where you live down–instead of up–to expectations. It’s a bad habit that could strangle any growth and needs to be dealt with now. This is not “friend” talk. Yet it’s exactly the kind of destructive feedback we give ourselves.
Surrounding yourself with negativity will drain the energy, life and hope right out of you like a leech. Seems pretty obvious, but too often, we allow these negative messages to seep through. Any self-bashing you might do may also actually have its roots in something other people have told you over the years. Harsh words can leave scars that never go away. Still, that doesn’t mean we have to carry on the legacy of beating ourselves up.
You deserve to be treated with respect, encouragement and patience. You demand that much from people you know. Demand it from yourself.
Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life.
One of life’s biggest ironies is how often people complain about their circumstances, yet rarely do anything about them. It’s not that they don’t have good intentions, or the desire for change isn’t great. It’s that change is scary and risky. Even when we’re unhappy with our current situation, we are familiar with it. Change is just so unknown. For this reason, we often miss opportunities, even when they are staring us right in the face.
Luckily, you can change your thinking patterns over time. Even a pessimist can become an optimist with enough practice! All you need to do is to reframe how you define events. Instead of dwelling on the bad experience, analyze it to figure out what good can come of it. Even if a project at work is deemed a failure, think about what you learned during the process. What strengths did you discover within yourself, and when can you use those talents again?
Instead of blaming yourself for the failure, think about the outside influences that may have affected your project. Maybe you were delayed by outside vendors, so you couldn’t meet a deadline; or management decided to go in another direction, making your project redundant. Virtually any failure can be turned into a learning experience, which increases your potential for success in the future.
Optimism is a skill of emotional intelligence, which translates to a better career and greater success in life. Life is too short to be miserable, so start turning your thinking around! Positive thoughts, an optimistic outlook, and overall happiness can advance your prospects for work, relationships and other life experiences.