For celebrated author, Stephen King, fame and recognition didn’t come easy. He had to face more than 50 rejections before selling his first short story. In his book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, the author says, “By the time I was 14, the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and kept on writing.” What kept King motivated to pursue his chosen path, despite the numerous obstacles and rejections? Many would call it persistence and the ability to remain positive, while believing one has what it takes to succeed in life. The story of Stephen King and many other inspiring personalities who refused to give in to failure are real-life examples of how the power of positive thinking can transform lives.
Positive thinking can be described as an attitude that focuses on the good in every situation. How you think impacts your actions, which in turn shapes your outlook towards the world. When you learn to control your thoughts and emotions, you are better prepared to face any challenge, irrespective of circumstances. But this doesn’t mean that remaining positive is the answer to all of life’s maladies; it means taking control of how you act on them.
Wielding the power of positive thinking not just impacts emotional wellbeing but also improves physical health. A Harvard has revealed, “A general expectation that good things will happen can help people live longer.” It further stated, “Those who were optimistic had a significantly reduced risk of dying from several major causes of death including cancer, heart disease, and infection.”
So, how do you embrace the power of positive thinking in the face of overwhelming negative thoughts? To begin with, here are a few practices you can adopt for gaining a positive outlook towards life.
A study found that people who meditate regularly experience more positive emotions than the ones who do not. Meditation helps you remove the layers of negative emotions occupying your thought process, allowing you to focus more on the positive aspects of life. You become more attuned to logical thinking and address the issues troubling you with a renewed belief. Meditation can also enhance creativity, control anxiety, and promote emotional health.
Be grateful for what you have
Worrying is an inescapable part of life. But you don’t really help yourself when you constantly worry without sparing a thought on things that matter. So, when the going gets tough, shift your perspective to things in your life that you are grateful for. It could be your family, your pet, your friends, or the fact that you’re alive and healthy! Make a note of what really matters to you and express gratitude for the same. Doing so will give you the strength to face your problems with optimism.
Reframe your thoughts
Accept the fact that you cannot always control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it. Many struggle to do this, since negative thoughts prevent them from seeing the clear picture. It is completely in your power to view a situation and react to it based on your unique perspective. More importantly, try to solve your problems instead of waiting for them to disappear on their own.
It’s not fair to let yourself drown in negativity only because you’ve had a bad day. Everyone is bound to experience setbacks every now and then. It’s not useful to let minor disappointments govern you and your actions. Accept that you have to deal with failure from time to time, but it’s up to you whether you treat that failure as a spanner in the wheel or a stepping stone. You need to believe that you can come out on top, even in the face of hardships.
Resolve to be cheerful
Being cheerful, particularly when things don’t go according to the plan can be a little difficult. But with practice and patience, you can surely adopt this habit. As mentioned earlier, learn to see the positive in every situation. For example, consider a scenario where you have a flight to catch, but you’re unnecessarily delayed at security. An airline attendant berates you for being late, but another, noticing the chaos, chooses to apologise while offering to upgrade your ticket. Now, it is up to you to analyse the incident and embrace the good in the situation. Will you remain angry at the rude attendant, or be grateful to the one who showed kindness?
Change your vocabulary
According to a study, the words you use in conversations can influence your mindset. If you can identify the words you often use, you can rewire your vocabulary to exude positivity. Pay attention to how you describe things, particularly your own emotions when you talk to people. You can write down the negative words you used in a day’s span, and then replace them with positive alternatives. You will soon see the difference this brings about.
Think about the people you admire
Look up to other people for inspiration. It doesn’t matter if they are celebrities, your close friends, or your family members. Observe the mantras they live by. When you find yourself sinking deep in negative thoughts, think about the people you admire, and imagine how they would deal with such thoughts. This may help you take control of your emotions, rather than getting overpowered by them. Sometimes all it takes is a little inspiration to turn your emotions around and face the day anew.