What is Positive Thinking?
Positive thinking, or Optimism, is a belief system wherein people and events are inherently good. Good is considered as whatever entails reverence towards life, continuity, happiness, or human flourishing. Affirmation of the thoughts rising from Positive Thinking acts as the catalyst for achieving your goals. Create your own Universe with the power of Positive Thinking
Am I an Optimist or a Pessimist?
Take a day to pay attention to the stream of thoughts that run through your head (self-talk). If these thoughts are mostly negative, you are likely a pessimist. If your thoughts are mostly positive, you are likely an optimist. An optimist is not necessarily practicing Positive Thinking. For someone who regularly sees the positive side of things, this thought pattern comes naturally. For the pessimist, the act of Positive Thinking takes conscious effort and practice. Positive Thinking can be learned.
Does it take a long time? I don't have a lot of time.
You do not need to devote time specifically to the practice of Positive Thinking. Positive Thinking is simply a conscious reflection of what you are thinking coupled with an effort to transform negative thought into positive thought. There is a constant stream of thought running through your mind. From time to time stop and evaluate what you're thinking. If you find that your thoughts are mainly negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on them.
Why practice Positive Thinking?
the Universe wants you to be healthy and feel good. Positive Thinking reduces negative stress which effects good health. Positive Thinking has emotional benefits as well, promoting positive emotions like greater happiness, contentment and fulfillment. A good way to measure whether your thoughts are mostly positive is by your current state-of-mind. If you are feeling positive emotions such as hope, happiness, contentment and fulfillment then you are more than likely thinking mostly positive thoughts. When you find yourself in a negative state-of-mind feeling emotions like, fear, sadness, restlessness, regret, or with a complete lack of emotion (apathy), then try and change your thought pattern; negative thought into positive thought.
This would be a good time to examine your self-talk. If your self-talk is mostly negative this supports the statement that you can determine the pattern of your thoughts by your mood. Practice Positive Thinking by putting a positive spin on any negative self-talk that comes up. Put a conscious effort into thinking about the good things in your life and give thanks for them. If you have a list of personal positive affirmations that you use, now would be the time to use them. You will surely see a change toward the better. When your thoughts project a more positive attitude your state-of-mind will become more positive and you will begin to feel the more positive emotions again; hope, happiness, contentment, fulfillment . . .
What is Gratitude?
Gratitude, appreciation, or thankfulness is a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive. Think of the act of Gratitude as the positive affirmation of an event that is taking place, has taken place or is about to take place. Don't mistake Gratitude for servitude or indebtedness. In contrast to the positive feeling of gratitude, the feeling of indebtedness is a negative reaction to a favor.
Who should express Gratitude?
To what or to whom do I express this Gratitude?
It really doesn't matter to whom or what you offer your thankfulness. It is however better that you don't include any negativity in your offering, such as "Thanks to Me, because there is no other entity in this Universe that is responsible for this." The important matter is that you express Gratitude for the things and emotions that come into your life.
Why should I express Gratitude?
Like every thankyou-Universe topic, the 'why' is because of the imprint, positive or negative, that your action has on your relationship with the Universe.
What if I don't have anything to be grateful for?
Although gratitude is something that anyone can experience, some people seem to feel grateful more often than others. People who tend to experience gratitude more frequently than do others also tend to be happier, more helpful and forgiving, and less depressed than their less grateful counterparts. Everyone has something to be grateful for. If you practice Positive Thinking and express Gratitude for the emotions, events and things that you experience, you will find that Gratitude will become part of your daily life.
How do I start becoming Grateful?
Start with a daily list of things that you are grateful for.
You can start with the simple things like "I am grateful that I have a bed to sleep in." It is important that you don't force yourself to feel grateful. Even on bad days there is surely something, even one thing, that you can acknowledge and express your Gratitude for. It could be that yesterday your bed was too hard and tomorrow it may be too soft, but today it is just right, so express your Gratitude for what is right today. You can just think of the list and reflect on your thoughts, or write it down. If you have a friend that you confide in then you can share your list with your friend.
What is Forgiveness?
Forgiveness is the process of ceasing to feel resentment, indignation or anger for a perceived offense, difference or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. The act of forgiveness is selfish, needing no acknowledgment of acceptance of the offer.
Why should I practice Forgiveness?
When someone you care about hurts you, without the act of forgiveness,
you can be endlessly burdened with resentment, anger and thoughts of revenge.
Forgiveness is not forgetting what happened to you. Forgiveness does not deny the offender's responsibility
and does not minimize or justify the act that hurt you. Practice forgiveness for the sake of your happiness
and well-being. Without forgiveness you will not clear your consciousness from the hurtful emotions associated with the acts that you should forgive.
What if I'm not ready?
You may never feel like you are ready to forgive. You need to believe that Forgiveness is a necessary step in the healing process of emotional hurt. Often, the difficulty in becoming ready to forgive surrounds the thought that somehow the act of forgiveness erases the act that hurt you or releases the offender of responsibility. Forgiveness is about you, and your well-being. Let go of the resentment and anger. The act of forgiveness will release you from the bond between the offensive act and the associated negative emotions.
Recognize the benefits forgiveness will bring to your life.
What are the benefits of Forgiveness?
There are many health benefits associated with Forgiveness, including lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, less negative stress, less hostility with better anger management skills, lower risk of alcohol or substance abuse, fewer depression and anxiety symptoms, and reduction of chronic pain. Community impact results in healthier relationships and better friendships, greater spiritual well-being, and improved psychological well-being.
What is the process of Forgiveness?
It is not necessary to confront the person who offended you. The act of forgiveness is all about you. If you will feel better, then certainly tell someone, "I forgive you". This act may not result in positive exchange of thought. It is only necessary that you rid yourself of the negative emotion bound to the hurtful act. Forgiveness is neither simple, nor easy. There is no mantra that will magically remove emotional hurt.
You need to be ready to forgive, and Forgiveness will happen. Become 'ready' through the understanding that forgiveness is about you and your well-being. Living a positive lifestyle is helpful in relieving other stresses in your life which will make the act of Forgiveness easier.
How do I begin?
Believe that the act of forgiveness will release you from the negative emotion that is bound to this act. Understand that the act of forgiveness is for your benefit and is not about the person who committed the hurtful act. Project yourself as something other than a victim. As a victim, the offender and the situation holds control over you. Make a conscious effort to forgive the offense.
Also, remember that forgiveness is often not a one-time thing. It begins with your decision to forgive, but memories or actions may trigger old feelings. You may need to recommit to forgiveness over and over again.