The Power of Positive Thinking
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Karen Mistlin
28th August, 2009
Strangely enough human beings have a great capacity and tendency to hang on to negative rather than positive thoughts. The weather for example, how often do we all moan about the British climate being too cold, too wet, too hot etc, but what benefits are there to negative thinking? Dwelling on the negative aspects of life and comparing one’s own failings with others can lead to feeling discouraged and depressed.
It can also lower energy levels and sometimes even attract more negativity. A glass half empty attitude impacts those around you, the ripple affect being that they also begin to respond in a negative manner. It can be contagious!!
Life does throw many obstacles in our paths to contend with on a daily basis and whilst employing a more positive mental attitude will improve your outlook, it is often hard to see a silver lining when dark clouds loom.
However, as a start maybe try a few of the techniques listed below and notice how differently you think and feel when you put them into action.
1. Live for yourself. When you constantly try to be the person others want you to be, you cheat yourself out of individuality and your own dreams. Take a long hard look at what you want out of life and plan your daily routine to include at least one or two elements that bring your goals closer.
2. Understand that even if you can’t control outside circumstances, you can control your reaction them. For example, if you are currently working in a job with a person who is demeaning, make a conscious effort to tell yourself that the behaviour displayed can upset you only if you allow it to.
3. Slow down. When constantly under pressure to finish tasks, it is easy to develop a negative attitude towards life. Just be getting up 15 minutes earlier each day, you give yourself an extra pocket of Me time to maybe read the paper or a short meditation to centre yourself before the day begins.
4. When your day is over at work or at home, try and switch gears mentally. Tell yourself that you have all day tomorrow to deal with issues and problems. Try to re-direct your thoughts towards something positive, maybe thinking about a person or place you would like to visit or an activity that you could look forward to.
5. Learning something new every day. A positive attitude can be encouraged by providing something new in your life. As a child your curiosity led you to explore and learn. Recapture that feeling today by taking a night class, studying a new language, learning to garden or anything else that interests you
6. Make a list of the positive aspects of your life. Include your achievements. If you are a humorous person, put that on the list. If you can play an instrument, if you are knowledgeable about any particular subject. Whatever you consider a positive attribute in your life add to your list. Read this list when you need a mental boost.
7. Help others. Extending a helping hand to those in need makes you feel needed and worthwhile. Make it a habit to volunteer for charitable organisations. Helping others allows us to be thankful for our own lives, extending kindness energetically lifts our spirits and can attract more positivity back into your life.
These are just a few ideas to focus on to maintain a positive mental attitude. It is normal to go through periods of feeling down but if it persists depression may be the cause. Help is at hand, by either visiting your Doctor or talking to family and friends. However sometimes professional support maybe be required, counselling enables a person to free up their minds, off load negative thoughts to make way for a more positive attitude and perspective.
“Whether it’s the best of times or the worst of times, it’s the only time we’ve got”
So I urge you to live in the here and now and endeavour to make the most of it!
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