While watching the news recently I found myself getting caught up with all the negativity. I began getting upset watching what seemed to be a never-ending parade of devastating stories from around the world. My mood began to change and my outlook became negative. I allowed myself to become overly empathetic and I lost sight of how powerful positive thinking is in life.

Positive thinking doesn’t mean you ignore all that is bad in the world or discredit the importance of a negative situation. Positive thinking is your approach to situations, your attitude towards yourself and outlook on life. Positive thinkers have an optimistic approach to situations and are productive in their style. They often make the best out of situations and search for resolutions instead of focusing on the problem. Positive thinkers are realistic about situations and tend to take-action and try to learn from every experience instead of sitting back and waiting for it to pass. Positive thinkers have been found to have better coping skills for stressful situations, are more successful in work, are healthier and have a greater overall well-being.

It is naïve to think that someone can remain positive all the time. Negative situations occur every day and are often highlighted on the news and with social media, which can make it very difficult at times.

Here are a few ways to help you be a positive thinker, even when it seems unattainable

  • Meditation: Take some time to calm your brain and get to a place of peace. It will allow you to approach situations with a clear head.
  • Have a positive support group: Surround yourself with people who are supportive that you can engage in positive conversations with.
  • Change your approach: Try to stay away from negative words and change the approach to the tone of your thoughts.
  • Accept and move forward: Its natural to resist change. We must learn to accept the change and that some things are out of our control and focus on moving forward in the most positive way possible.
  • Focus on the lesson: Instead of focusing on the negative situation focus on what can be learned from the situation.
  • Remind yourself of the positive: Focus on the positive things in your life and remember how grateful you are for them.
  • Move on: It’s easy to dwell on mistakes. It’s important to acknowledge what was done, what can be learned from the situation, forgive yourself and move on.

While the thought of being a positive thinker may be overwhelming it has been said to be contagious. So, start with something small like smiling more. You may be amazed how something that seems so trivial may have a large impact on your outlook and life.

“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”

― Dalai Lama XIV

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