I have been asked a lot about how I maintain my positive attitude and mentality even in times of drawbacks. Although positive thinking has come more natural to me by practicing throughout the years, it still remains a work in progress. Until this moment, I am still guarding myself against negative thoughts that sometimes pop up as triggered by various circumstances. One of the things that helped me a lot in this respect, which I hope will also be useful to you, is the practice of avoiding unhappy habits. Instead of forcing yourself to proactively embrace positive thinking, you actually already come a long way by simply distancing yourself from habits that unhappy people tend to do. Without further ado, let us dig right in.
I know it can be a natural response to take on all responsibility when something goes wrong, even if it was out of your control and not your fault in the first place. However, the worst thing to do is to blame yourself. If you did caused the problem, you still should not linger on it for so long that it hinders you from finding a solution. Always remember that making mistakes is what makes us human. Do not be too harsh and hard on yourself that it blocks you from reflecting on the situation and think of solutions.
Holding on to anger
Never underestimate the harm that anger can bring you. It is like poison running through your mind and body that take away all your joy and energy. What I find an effective remedy for this is to maximise the good and minimise the bad of a situation. This way, you channel positive energy from the inside out which makes it less likely for you to fall back into negative emotions such as anger, sadness and fear. This helps us to reverse our tendency of focusing too much on the bad and ignore the good of things. Then the type of anger that is caused by other people can be remedied by forgiving. Although it feels like you are doing the perpetrators a favor by forgiving and letting him / her go, the person who eventually benefits from this is you. You do not let negative experiences affect you, but rather decide to move past them, regardless of what has happened.
One negative thought evokes another negative thought and before you know you have triggered a complete domino effect. What I have trained myself to do is to immediately think about something nice or positive, such as a lunch plan or an upcoming holiday, to break the spell of this downward spiral. The trickiest thing is that you are often not aware of the negative thought as such when it pops up in your mind. So it is really teaching yourself to pick up these signals timely so that you can respond to them accordingly. You are the one who needs to say no to your negative thoughts.
Not letting go of the past
I admit that I always have had difficulties with letting go of people, things and situations, especially as a high-sensitive person. Gradually I learned to better deal with it by putting things in perspective. My life is just like a book, it has different story lines. They follow each other up. If the one does not end, the other cannot start. So endings and letting go of things are for the best, to welcome new and better life chapters. Also, if one story line does not end well, it does not mean that the others will follow the same pattern. The more I am convinced of this whole principle, the easier it is for me to let go of the past.
Getting caught up in your own thoughts
Nothing is as bad as getting trapped inside your head as it can take over your behavior and life before you even realise it. This is actually very similar to the above-mentioned negative thought spiral. To break this or prevent yourself from ending up in this situation, always ensure that you keep open a window that allows you to both pick up thoughts & ideas from other people and open yourself up to new environments.
Which of the above you find the most effective method in avoiding habits of unhappy people? I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time!