Positive Thinking: Can We Think Our Way Into Happiness?

What Is Positive Thinking?

Positive ThinkingPositive thinking has long been talked about as a way to be happy. I don’t think I have ever heard someone successful not talk about positive thinking.

Interestingly, we are born positive. We don’t walk around with our heads down feeling negative about our lives and the world around us.

Negative thinking is a learned trait.

To me, that says that positive thinking is a natural state to be in, and I want to be in that state darn it!

Positive thinking is supposed to help you believe in yourself and motivate you to move forward in life towards the goals you set out for yourself. It helps you to push aside the fears and doubts that often stop you from moving forward.

Positive thinking should also allow you to make lemonade out of lemons, which can be a great quality during a time of trouble. For instance, instead of being upset about an issue at work, a positive thinker would find a way to fix the issues and move past it.

Positive thinking is said to help you become more optimistic in life and less anxious or stressed.

Sounds good to me! How about you?

This week, I will delve into the world of positive thinking and how it can help us to be happy.

Day 1: Positive Thinking Summary

Has Positive Thinking Changed The World?

The truth is that anyone who every accomplished something had to use some form of positive thinking.

They had to say something to themselves that pushed them forward on their path in life, and negative thoughts would not do that.

If they thought things like, “I can never make a difference” or “I don’t really have anything to add to this world” or “I am not capable of doing that” then they would never have taken the next step in their life. Instead, they would have stayed inside their comfort zone and kept doing whatever it was they were doing.

Quotes On Positive Thinking

If you look into history, you will see that successful people who have accomplished a lot in their life had one common trait: positive thinking.

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”  ― Abraham Lincoln

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.” ― Stephen King, On Writing

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. ― Albert Einstein

“A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes.” ― Gandhi

You cannot deny that these are people who have made a difference in the world and stood out in some way.

4 Steps To A Positive Thought

I was watching TV last night and I came across this technique to utilize positive thinking when negative thoughts arise.

It goes like this:

1. When you are aware of a negative thought such as “I’m fat” or “I can’t do this” or “I am not good enough” then STOP yourself immediately.

2. Take a DEEP BREATH in and let it out.

3. REFLECT on your negative thought. Do this by writing down the thought you were having and any sub-thoughts surrounding it.

4. CHOOSE a different thought. For example, if you were thinking “I can’t do this” then you may want to refrain your thought and say, “I can definitely give it a try!”

So, this is something I am going to use throughout the week.

I’m glad this is the week for positive thinking because I started a 21 Day Money Breakthrough Challenge today and it today consists of having trust in yourself. You need to have a positive mindset to do that!

Day 2 – Be Positive With Huge Changes Coming…Maybe

Be Happy PositiveMy husband works in a hell hole. I’m serious! His boss has been condescending to him since the day he started, yet he has to go to my husband for answers because he knows nothing.

Anywase, it’s too long to get into here, but let’s just say his work is a mess that is millions of dollars in the hole.

Today he found out that two more people quit, and about two weeks ago he was put on probation for a month because of his ‘inability to answer the boss quickly’ and a few other ridiculous things.

So to say that our financial state is hanging in the balance is an understatement. Either he goes down with the ship or he gets kicked off before it sinks…either way, he will likely be finding a new job this year.

So, today seemed a little more stressful than normal. One of his back up plans fell through and we are nearing the one month mark quickly.

Negative thinking reared it’s head! Here’s what I did with my negative thought about him losing his job soon.

STOP – I stopped myself from letting that thought turn into a wheel and collect a million other thoughts along the way until I couldn’t handle it anymore.

BREATHE – I breathed. What more can I say about this step?

REFLECT – I took a moment to reflect on my negative thought and what it encompassed.

CHOOSE – I chose to look at it a different way. I decided that worrying about what would be is pointless because whatever is going to happen will happen. Then I chose to think that no matter what happened we would be able to work our way through it.

I also thought about the worst case scenario, which was bankruptcy and moving in with his mother! (I know, I’ve already learned how to be compassionate with her, so it shouldn’t be that bad right!)

Now, truthfully, as much as I hate the thought of losing our house and living with his mother, that is not the end of the world. In fact, it would give as a chance to have a fresh start!

However, I realize the worst case scenario is likely not going to happen, and that led me to think about myself and what I can do to ensure that we are finically sound. I came up with a ton of things I can do such as more freelance writing, get an offline job, sell our house, write another eBook, sell my body…well, that last one isn’t going to go over to well, but you get the point. I’ve decided that even if he loses his job, we can find a new way to make the money – and many of my ideas will get us a decent income until he lands a new job or branches out to a new successful business idea.

In the end, positive thinking really came though for me today. Instead of falling into a pit of depression about what could possibly happen, I chose to stop that snowball from rolling down the hill and to think of better scenarios instead.

After all, I don’t really know what is going to happen.

Did it help me to be happy? Yes. I feel comfortable and relaxed instead of panicked and worried…

Day 3 – Can Everyone Engage In Positive Thinking?

I’m not sure if it is the fact that I have been focusing on positive thinking or what, but I feel great today! I feel very…well, positive.

In any case, I was going to dedicate this day to what others think about positive thinking, and I got one response that really made me question whether or not everyone is capable of thinking positive.

I asked the question on HubPages, “Positive thinking: Do YOU think that it can make your life better? Make you happier?” Click on the link to see all of the answers.

The following answer is what got me thinking.

Positive Thinking Response

Obviously this guy was a little defensive about the question; however, I understand what he is saying. Some people may not be able to experience positive thinking if they have mental issues that block the ability to do so.

Today, I took some time to research whether or not that was true.

First, I happened to come across a show called ‘What’s The Alternative‘ and there was a man who was deep in depression. He was not there to talk about positive thinking, he was there to talk about acupuncture and depression.

What struck me though was that he was so depressed that he was unable to leave his house, talk to friends, and live a normal life, but he made the conscious decision to look for an alternative therapy to his depression that ultimately led him to acupuncture.

Therefore, he had to have some sort of positive thought that said, “I can find a way out of this” or “I will find a way to beat this” amidst all of his negative thoughts. And his ability to follow that thought was what led him to lead a better life today.

When searching for post-traumatic stress disorder I found one site on PTSD that really covered a lot of information about what it is and how it is treated. And one of the treatments is Cognitive Behavioural  Therapy (CBT).

CBT is essentially about changing the way we view things and that means that we need to change our thoughts to more positive thoughts.

Positive Thinking PTSDNote: If you have any experience with this, positive or negative, please share in the comments, I would love to hear about it!

So, JThomp may be right. In the midst of the disease you may be unable to experience positive thoughts; however, that doesn’t mean that positive thinking does not help you get through the disease…it just means that it needs to be learned first before it can help you.

You need to learn how to rephrase your thoughts and outlook first.

In fact, the way I see it, rephrasing your thoughts to be more positive  is the only way that you can come out of a negative state. Am I wrong? Having negative thoughts will never allow you to move into happiness.

In any case, in my research I found a lot of people who are not enjoying their life right now, but I couldn’t find anyone who was incapable of changing their thoughts with the help of someone else like a counsellor or psychiatrist.

in short, there was no mention of an untreatable condition that allowed someone to eventually see things in a brighter way.

Again, if you have seen otherwise then please share in the comments.

Day 4 – Positive Thinking Building Up

positive thinkingI’m doing the 21 Day Money Breakthrough Challenge and while it is based around a few other things, I find that positive thinking is really at the core of it.

For instance, on Day 1 the focus was on trusting yourself, on Day 2 the focus was on asking for what you want, on Day 3 it was about valuing your time and energy…and I found that each challenge had me thinking positive about those respective things.

During each day, Max does a little meditation where you close your eyes and affirm the message for the day to yourself. To me, this is using positive thinking. You are thinking about the challenge in a positive frame of mind and then you go forward throughout the day thinking positively.

What’s my point? My point is that each day I find myself still thinking positively about the past days challenge. And that build-up of things to think positive about is helping me stay in a positive mind-set.

This makes sense to me because I know that negative thoughts have a way of building up. For example, if you tell yourself that you cannot make deadline, then you start to believe it, and that negative thought causes you to think more negative thoughts such as “I never get my work done” or “I suck at my job”. The negative thoughts accumulate and before long you are bombarded by negative thinking and negative feelings.

I’ve realized that positive thoughts can do this too. In the beginning of the week I thought positively about trusting myself and others. Then the next day I thought positively about asking for what I wanted. Even though it’s been a few days, I am still thinking positive about those things, and I feel pretty damn good about myself!

So, positive thinking cannot only make you happy in the moment, but it can also make you happy in the future, when you remember the thought.

Day 5 – Can Positive Thinking Make You Healthy?

I guess another question would be, can negative thinking make you sick?

This is very interesting to me because I have long believed in the power of self healing through positive thinking and have seen examples, both with people I know and don’t know, of it working.

There are studies on positive thinking and health that have been done, but I want to talk about one that is a little more personal to me.

My dad has Lupus, and he is probably one of the most unique people I know when it comes to a long-term disease. While he doesn’t believe fully in alternative health, he does believe that his mind has the power to make him feel better and heal certain issues in his body.

I have often said that if my dad thinks it is going to rain, then a cloud will appear above him, and it will rain. That is how strong his mind is.

In any case, I’m not a fan of my dad’s negative thinking doctor, but he is. I feel as though this guy has kept him sicker than he needs to be for a long time. The guy isn’t even a specialist in Lupus…he’s a fricking plastic surgeon who is a ‘skin specialist’. He just happened to be the guy who my dad was referred to some time ago, and for some reason my dad thinks this ‘doctor’ knows everything.

One time, not long ago, my dad went and saw an actual specialist in Lupus who was amazed at my dad’s ability to heal himself during times that other people would be in the hospital. (You would be amazed too.)

She wanted to talk to him more and she convinced my dad that he may be able to heal his Lupus. I can tell you that during that time I have never seen my dad healthier. In fact, I was convinced that his Lupus was gone. He looked like a normal guy free from sickness, and I have never seen my dad look like that – not since I was in my early teen’s anywase.

His positive thinking was apparent in his demeanour and attitude. His conversations had become positive as well. He was happy. My husband and I were beyond happy, and we couldn’t wait to see how it all played out.

Then, he went and saw his regular plastic surgeon doctor who told him that he was not getting better and that the specialist didn’t know what she was talking about. Within one day he was sick again, and within a week he had dropped his new specialist and went back to his old life.

I hate that asshole. I can only assume that it is all about money for him because who else would convince someone who is obviously feeling better to stop seeing the person who is helping him feel better.

Anywase, my point is that my dad was thinking positively about his health and future, and his body was responding to that positive thinking. Then, when he started thinking negative again, his body responded negatively.

The Placebo Effect

Positive thinking placeboBesides my dad thinking his way to health, there are countless studies done on the placebo effect. In essence, positive thinking is already a form of medicine in this regard.

It has been said that at least 30% of subjects show a positive response to a placebo pill. This means that they are experiencing a mind-body connection that says “Hey, you are receiving medicine that should make you better, so get better,” and their body responds accordingly. That is undeniable.

So, if the placebo effect works on our physical health, then it should also be able to work on our mental health and our emotions. It should also help us to feel happier.

For instance, saying, “I’m happy,” can cause us to start to do things that make ourselves feel happy like stop being judgmental to ourselves. It can literally cause our minds to take the steps it needs to ‘heal’ in the exact same manner it helps our bodies to heal.

If you have any experience with positive thinking and your health – physical or mental – please share in the comments at the end of this article.

Day 6 – Positive Thinking And Rejection

Today I was rejected! An article that I wrote was not in the tone the person wanted it to be in, and they rejected it instead of buying it.

I hate rejection. And it happens a lot in my line of business. I am in sales, and I am putting my products out there for the whole world to reject.

So, I was looking around for positive thinking and rejection and I found the following video. First of all, I just like the guy’s voice. But beyond that I like the message he is sending.

It’s not that I failed a thousand times, it is just that I tried a thousand times to get closer to the solution.

That little quote allowed me to look at the rejection in a new way. Instead of sulking about rejection, I switched my thoughts to, “How is this going to help me get to my end goal?”

The biggest answer was that I would not make the same mistake twice. The less possible mistakes there are to make, the less rejection would be in my future.

I also pondered other ways I could attempt to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

  • I came up with a few answers such as pay closer attention to keywords in the request put forth by the buyer.
  • Think of the buyer’s needs and try to give them exactly what they want.
  • Put myself in their shoes and try to live up to my own expectations.

While this may be a way to start avoiding rejection, I still wanted to know how to look at the situation in a more positive way after rejection occurs.

Loved this video! I felt like I was in training to work at the department store. Here’s what I took from it:

  • Understand the customer’s feelings.
  • Apologize.
  • Give feedback.
  • Summarize the facts.
  • Deal with the problem.

This is a real positive way to think about a negative situation like rejection.

If you can understand where the person who did the rejecting is coming from, then you will have an easier time not feeling so negative about it. In addition, you will have an easier time finding a solution.

In the end, positive thinking has totally helped me be happier after rejection. My normal rejection is to get upset, decide the man/woman didn’t know what the heck they were talking about, and then move on with my head high…but this is a much better way to deal with the situation.

I am much happier about it all.

Day 7 – My Thoughts On Positive Thinking

I have to say, I’m pretty positive about it! lol

I think that positive thinking is essential to happiness. I’m not talking about looking past problems or pretending they are not there, but I’m talking about facing problems head on and finding a way to tackle them with the power of positive thinking.

I think your relationships, health, esteem, and career can be improved with positive thinking, and it is something that everyone should incorporate into their life in order to be happier.

Because our thoughts are often expressed through words, I know of a lot of people who practice regular ‘negative thinking’ and I also see the direct influence it has on their health and happiness. I know that you likely have many examples of this too.

I found that the intention to think positive was enough to help me do so. However, if you need some more information on ‘how to’ on positive thinking then check out the books from Amazon or in your local bookstore.

All it takes is one moment to completely change the way you go about life, so keep searching until you find that moment.

2 Comments

  1. Howard Platt
    June 6, 2013
    • Kari
      June 6, 2013

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