Positive thinking, or an optimistic approach to life, has been much heralded over the last several decades, and for good reason. By allowing you to turn what could otherwise be a frustrating situation into one of peace and joy, positive thinking is a vital ingredient to a happy existence.
I will provide a couple of examples to bring this concept to life and illustrate its power.
Let’s say you are hosting an outdoor summer party. Of course, you are hoping for good weather. But then in the middle of the party, storm clouds start to roll in, and it begins to pour! This is a disaster, right?
Yet here is what often happens. Everyone begins scurrying around and pitching in, grabbing the food off the tables and rushing into the house. Usually a lot of laughing occurs, because everyone is getting soaked! Then you all huddle inside, sharing comments on the rain and wind, which creates an atmosphere of fun chatter and camaraderie. Inevitably the storm clouds move on, everyone goes back outside, and the festivities begin anew. There is a freshness to the air and everyone is now much more appreciative of the clear, sunny weather. Years later, those who were at your party are much more likely to remember it, when the storms blew in and everyone needed to scatter! Otherwise, no one would likely recall it.
So what’s so bad about this? Is it something worth getting all upset about? You will be much happier, as will those around you, if you can react to sudden, unexpected circumstances like this with a positive mindset.
Here is one more example. I have a friend who simply abhors getting sick. Even the most minor stomach upset or cold sends him into a tailspin of negativity. “I hate being sick. Why did this have to happen? If only I felt better, I would be happy again. I’m going to the doctor so I can fix this right away!”
I look at minor illnesses this way: they are a part of life, these things are going to happen, and so why get so upset and rail at the world? If you are really objective about the amount of physical pain you are experiencing, there is usually quite little. By complaining about it, you just add to the suffering. Also, when you have a minor illness, you can often still do most or all of what you want to. If not, then it can be viewed as an opportunity to go outside your normal routine. Being a hyperactive Type A, I often spend very little time reading, but if I am sick and need to rest, then it is a great chance to read a book I have been wanting to get to.
Positive thinking is a wonderful gift that you should consider giving to yourself. If you can recognize negative thinking “minefields” in your life and turn them around, it is like turning sour lemons into lemonade!