So have you ever wondered how you can think more positively about yourself and your life? I know I have! I’ve often been told by people who say all I need to do is “think more positively” and it will make all the difference in my life. Of course when you’re feeling down or depressed, it’s easy for someone to say just think more positively, the thing is no one really explains that. Sometimes it seems quite patronising, you feel your life is heading nowhere, your family treat you like crap, you’ve been through so much trauma that you get flashbacks and nightmares, that you live in fear of going out alone, that you trust no one, and then someone comes along and tells you that all you need to do is think more positively!
The thing is that over the years I have actually learned to improve my moods and quality of life by learning how to think more positively. The thing I can see now is that often those that have reasonably happy and stable lives aren’t people who have never been affected by negative events in their life and often have been through things that many people would be shocked at. So what makes the difference?
The difference is that these people take control of their own lives, they stop being the victim and start taking accountability in their lives. Positive thinking is not about putting on a smile when inside you feel crap! What it’s about is taking control back. Work out what makes you happy, what helps you feel less stressed, treating yourself as important/special and learning to like yourself a bit more.
So how do you do that? When someone pays you a compliment how do you react? Do you get embarrassed or try to argue back? Don’t! Learn to accept compliments, when someone says you are pretty or helpful, stop for a moment, just a few seconds and let that sink in, do NOT try to argue it in your head, don’t let the thoughts of doubt or mistrust creep in and then simply say thank you to them. Think about how nice it feels that someone thinks of you that way.
Start thinking of one thing each week that you like about yourself, tell yourself that as you get up each morning, say it in the mirror, write it in your diary and believe it! Do you have pretty eyes? Nice full lips? Does your hair look good, maybe it feels nice and soft? Are you an affectionate person, loving, kind, caring? Remind yourself of those things and for that whole week every day tell yourself about that one good thing you’ve thought of that week about yourself! Keep telling yourself it!
Try to take ten minutes each day to have entirely for yourself, a chance to de-stress or to pamper yourself, nurture yourself! Maybe have a warm bath but turn it in to your own mini spa! Put oils in the water, turn on some relaxing music, light some candles, maybe even take a special box of chocolates or a glass of wine in to the bath with you and then close your eyes and let your imagination go wherever it wants, maybe you could imagine that you’re in a spa hotel or a mansion being waited on! Maybe you’re on a white sand beach surrounded by palm trees!
Once a week extend that ten minutes to one hour of pure luxury, spoil yourself, remind yourself how deserving and special you are! Then if you can try to take a day each month where you spend an entire day on yourself, maybe you could have a lie in, even better if you have someone who’ll bring you breakfast in bed with a newspaper. Have your favourite breakfast, pancakes or kippers or a fry up, whatever tickles your fancy! Buy yourself a bunch of flowers and some chocolates, rent a movie you’ve wanted to watch for ages, buy some popcorn and just enjoy really chilling out. Make a rule of no phone calls unless it’s an emergency, keep away from the internet, shut out the outside world.
Now you’re starting to believe in yourself, to like yourself and to realise that you are special and deserving, this will make a big difference in your life. I’d recommend anyone to take a self-assertiveness class too and learn how to say no to people or how to discuss a complaint or problem. This can again really reduce stress and help you take control of your life.
Get to a point where outside of doing everything you are responsible for in your life, like taking care of kids, doing the housework and going to work as well as ensuring you get plenty of sleep, eating healthy and getting exercise that you start thinking about things you like to do and making the time for it! Take a walk in the country, breathe the fresh air, get up close to the flowers growing, admire the trees blowing in the wind or the animals scurrying across fields or up trees, don’t just let it pass you by, but stop and appreciate it all.
Learn to see things as though it was the first time you’ve ever seen it, to taste things like the first time you ever tasted it. Try things you’ve never tried before, try food from around the world, start a new hobby, buy some music that you’d never have thought about before, go to see a movie or read a book that is outside you’re normal genre. Remove yourself from your comfort zone and start really experiencing life, make it an adventure, make it your own!
Positive thinking is about being pro active in your own well-being, it’s about finding things you like, trying new things and being active about putting them in to practice, it’s about putting more thought in to your own life in the present moment than in the past or other people’s lives, it’s about stop trying to make everyone else happy and start focussing on your own happiness. When you are happy those around you will be happy too! You will attract positivity in to your own life and anyone nearby. People will learn how to make their own lives better, get a thirst for life just by being around you and watching how you do it!
You can’t pull anyone else out of the pit till you’ve climbed out of it yourself! When you are out, ALL THE WAY out and truly feel happy it will be easy to spread that happiness and love around, and the love you think you feel now? Trust me when I say that it is nothing compared to the love you can give to others when you truly love yourself, when feelings of happiness, positivity and love shine from your very being and light up everything around you so that no one ever even questions that you feel love.
Edit to add: Also, when you do find yourself dwelling on the negative things of the past or the worries of the future, try to balance those thoughts with reason rather than just the negative emotions. What did you learn by that experience? Perhaps you were able to remove a toxic person from your life because they treated you badly or perhaps you learned how to resolve a conflict, perhaps you have more empathy for others because you’ve been through similar types of trauma and so are in a better position to help them, perhaps you’ve learned by the mistakes of your parents how you can be more affectionate towards YOUR children, or how to better support them or talk to them, perhaps you’ve learned how not to treat people based on how bad people treated you, perhaps because of the bad things you went through you now bring more to the world because of the person you became, more compassion, more empathy, more understanding, perhaps you bring a voice.
So you see, negative things don’t have to remain negative forever or be solely negative, perhaps because of what you went through you met a great person who is now by your side, a friend you’d never have met if things were different, a husband, a colleague, maybe you’d not have had your children if things had been different in the past, if the bad stuff hadn’t happened, try to look at the good things that you have now and realise that all those things you have because of what happened in the past, good and bad! The past might still hurt, it might always hurt, but sometimes we can find a reason in our life now that makes the pain worthwhile, and if it doesn’t make it worthwhile then we can always use the other advice of given about taking control in our life to make it worthwhile! To find our own happiness, to create it, to achieve whatever we want.
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