2013 Faith (in) Wellness Challenge Week 20: Think Positive
Do you know someone who complains A LOT? Maybe it’s even you. In the recent past, I’ve been particularly sensitive to complaining, which seems to be all around me. My close proximity to it made me wonder if I complain that much too!
The quick fix to complaining is to think positive – but of course that’s much easier said than done.
For someone not used to thinking positive, it’s easiest to take it step by step so that you can create lasting change rather than one-off positive thoughts.
Step 1: Become aware of how you instinctively react when something bad or undesirable happens
Do you get angry, sad, lash out or implode? Do you turn to eating or music or something else to make you feel better? If you can first become aware of a bad situation happening and understand how you naturally react, you’re equipped with the information you need to make a change.
Step 2: Think of an alternative reaction
This is where the gratitude from Week 19 comes in handy. Is there some morsel of good in your bad situation? Maybe something you can learn about yourself or someone else? Thinking positive doesn’t mean that bad things simply go away. Instead, it means that you allow bad things to happen but don’t get caught up in them. When you react alternative you open up space for growth and learning rather than resentment.
Step 3: Engage positive emotions
Smile, laugh, skip, etc. Sometimes you can make a joke, other times just a smile will do. Really incredible research shows that your body actually tells you how to think. If you smile for an extended period of time, even if you’re not happy, your brain will eventually take the physical smiling cues and think that you are happy. It’s a cool trick you can use to force yourself to be more positive in dire situations when negativity is a big no-no.
Remember that thinking positive is like a muscle that you must work out to get stronger over time. You certainly won’t wake up one day and just be a generally positive person; over time, the more you practice the more you can change your outlook to one of more positivity and less complaining and whining. And then everyone will be happier!
In the comments below, tell me about a situation that you’ve had recently where you chose to think positive.
Image credit: Martin Whitmore