“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.”― Gandhi
We are all chasing happiness is some form. Be it in the form of money, health, fame, love….We all live with the misconception that happiness can be achieved by possession of the things we hold so dear to our heart. Is that really true??
One of my favorite comedians and actor Jim Carrey rightly said “I hope everybody could get rich and famous and will have everything they ever dreamed of, so they will know that its not the answer.”
The happiness we seek stems forth from within. Within where your thoughts lay. Within where your feelings rest. Your mind and your heart is the within where true happiness resides.
So why aren’t we happy then? If its that simple, if its right Within us, how come we are all still chasing it..happiness I mean?
It all boils down to ONE single thought.
Ever notice how when something ‘not so happy’ is happening in your life, your heart and mind automatically go to the worse case scenario. That is the root cause of all unhappiness. That single starting point where the negative thinking spiral starts…that’s where we need to nip it in the bud.
Here is ‘HOW to Boost Your Happiness with Positive Thinking’ and nip that negative thinking in the bud :
You and only YOU can boost your happiness by focusing on positive things and reducing your negative thinking. You can do it with practice: Simply, by following a negative thought with a positive one. This practice will help to retrain your habitually negative thought patterns to bring more positive thoughts to your life.
Ratios especially the ratio of positive to negative thoughts is a major factor in our overall happiness. Our brains are constantly monitoring the emotional tone of our thoughts – too many negative thoughts and our brain responds by creating stress and sadness in our body. When we add more positive thoughts, our brain will create relaxation and happiness. By training yourself to follow (or dismiss) negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll improve your positive/negative thought ratio and be happier.
Now, How do you stay motivated to Stay Positive?
After you’re aware of your negative thoughts and feelings and work to counteract them for a few days, they will gradually begin to lessen. You’ll be able to concentrate more on what you want to do without experiencing distracting emotions and stress. This will make you more productive and energetic. And best of all, it will make you happier.
Steps to boost your happiness with Positive thinking:
Step 1 - Start by Listing Happy Thoughts: Start by taking about 15 minutes and list all the happy thoughts you can think of. Just use a piece of paper and make a long list, give it a good 15-30 minutes. List people and places that make you happy – good friends, favorite vacation spots, childhood memories and more. List things that make you happy – puppies, babies, the smell of a new car, a favorite dinner, a day off relaxing by a pool. List(happy list) anything and everything you can think of that makes you happy.
Step 2 – Awareness of Negative Thoughts & Feelings: Just for this week, commit to pay attention to your thoughts. Whenever you catch yourself thinking about or feeling anything negative, sad or stressful, label that thought “unhappy.” Don’t worry if you have a lot of unhappy thoughts and feelings throughout the day, that is perfectly normal. Just pay attention and label them.
Step 3 – Instantly Follow With a Happy Item: After you label an unhappy thought or feeling, follow it immediately with a happy item from your Happy List. You might pick one item to use all day long, or choose different ones each time you need them. Just bring that happy thing to mind for a second or two.
Step 4 – Smile SO much: Whenever a negative thoughts comes up, replace it with a happy item from the list, but don’t forget to smile while doing so. A smile makes your mind calmer and every negative thought seem less stressful.
Step 5 – Make your personal Commitment to think positive: Positively Affirm everyday(especially when those negative thoughts and feelings strike) by saying this to yourself : I will flip my negative/stressful thoughts and feelings and follow them with a happy thought.
Some special tips:
- Please don’t judge yourself. We all have lots of unhappy and negative thoughts throughout the day. As you become more aware of them you might feel embarrassed or ashamed about how many you have. Don’t worry, it is perfectly normal to have all sorts of strange thoughts – we usually don’t pay so much attention to them.
- Force a smile on your face as you bring your happy thought to your mind. This will help erase the effects of the negative thoughts.
- As a few days pass, the vast number of negative thoughts and feelings often decrease. As if the brain gets bored being negative, because you replace the thoughts so quickly(and happily) with positive ones.
- Make sure to remind yourself to do this task throughout the day. Don’t let a day go by without engaging with your negative thoughts and substituting positive ones.
Add to this Positive Thinking Skill
Will you be waiting for negative thoughts to come along to think something positive? Add to this skill by making a conscious and planned effort to think positive thoughts throughout the day. Decide that you will think only positive thoughts for your entire lunch hour or during one of your breaks. Decide that you will only think positive thoughts while driving in your car or while riding the train/bus. Create times in your day when you will be “positive only”. This will give you even more practice at being positive and happy.
My question to you: How do YOU boost your happiness on a daily basis? Have you tried thinking positively on a conscious level everyday? Share your thoughts, questions and wisdom in the comments below. I’d love to read what you think.
With Immense Love & Gratitude,
Counseling Psychologist/ Spiritual Counselor
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