“Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” - Helen Keller
As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.
When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.
Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.
We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.
But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.
So…how exactly are we to achieve that?
It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.
1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.
Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.
2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.
This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.
You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.
3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.
This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.
4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.
How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.
So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.
If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.
And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.
Featured photo credit: Plus sign via Shutterstock