A few weeks ago, I shared some useful ways to practice self-care in your daily life. Our happiness is so important in finding success in everything we do. Aside from showing yourself a little love, you’ll want to show your mind some love as well. The best way to do that? Create a positive thinking space for yourself.
What Does It Mean To Be Positive
There are about a million clichés associated with positive thinking. Glass half-full. Being an optimist. Looking on the bright side. The list goes on. To be positive means to focus on the good. It means to always believe that something wonderful can happen.
There are lots of people that are cynical and only focus on the bad things that could happen. As writers, I’m sure you’ve heard it plenty of times: “It’s not easy to become a writer.” or “You’re wasting your time. You’ll never become a famous writer.”
If we really focused on those negative thoughts, we would drag down our self-esteem and not have the confidence to make it happen. That’s why it’s important to believe in the positive effects of our goals.
When I Adapted Positive Thinking Into My Life
About five years ago, I took a job at a retail store that promoted products based on positive thinking. The idea of positivity in our lives was ingrained in me. It was intoxicating to be surrounded by other people that looked on the bright side of things and focused on the good. It felt so amazing to be positive and to be around people that lived a positive life.
This idea of positivity had started to become a norm in my life. But it can be hard to break habits. With my writing, I still didn’t quite have that belief in myself until a friend made me realize it was possible.
When I asked this friend what she wanted to do with her life, she had two answers: a professional athlete or an actress. At the time, being a bit cynical, I would think that was a crazy and outlandish goal. When I told her about my writing, she would ask me when I was publishing a book. I seriously thought, come on, that’s not happening.
But I realized that she truly believed that if you had a passion for something, there’s no reason why you can’t pursue that. That inspired me.
This feeling of impossibility was kind of ingrained in me prior to this. My parents weren’t huge pessimists or anything. They would tell me that I could do anything I wanted. But it felt empty. I didn’t actually believe the words they said. I mean, they weren’t exactly doing what they had dreamed of, so how could I take what they said seriously?
I could say it was easy to become more positive in my life but that wouldn’t be entirely truthful. When you think a certain way for so long, it becomes automatic. So you have to work a little bit to change your mindset.
How To Create A Postive Thinking Space
We adopt certain behaviors as we see them. I realize now how negative my parents could be when I was growing up. Even now, I can sense that negative mindset when I’m around them, or a majority of my family. I know that I had those cynical thoughts before and when you live your life with those on your mind, it’s a chore to eliminate them.
So, after finding that job and those people who oozed positivity, I worked towards making myself a more positive person.
That means eliminating negative thinking from your life as often as possible. In getting rid of these thoughts, you have to become aware of them. When it creeps into your mind, recognize it, and change it. For example, when you see someone running outside, instead of thinking of how weirdly they run, why they’re out in the heat/rain/whatever, or wearing silly clothes, think instead, “good for them for dedicating themselves to a healthy lifestyle.”
The more often you do this, the more your mind will automatically reach for the positive thoughts instead of the negative ones.
Now, I’m not saying we’re not allowed to have negative thoughts once in a while. It’s not exactly realistic to be positive 24/7/365. Bad things happen and we can feel them and recognize that defeat as we need to. But it’s not healthy to stew in those negative thoughts for too long.
Heck, remember when I shared the story of my computer crashing? I was devastated and I could have easily just thrown in the towel and given up hope for recreating what I lost. But I chose to see the positive in it. I chose to think of this as a new opportunity to recreate stories I know and love.
Surround Yourself With The Right People
I’ve been learning more recently than ever the effectiveness of cutting out toxic people from my life. If someone isn’t providing value to me in a positive way, then I simply don’t need them. There’s no reason we need to keep people in our lives that are bringing us down. At the end of the day, it’s our lives and we need to create a space for the ones that give us a better quality of life.
This holds true, maybe even more so, in the online world. Are you following an account that constantly makes you feel jealous or envious? Delete them. Is there someone that shares negative posts nearly every day? Unfollow. We consume so much online and it can take a toll on our mental health.
Do a bit of a clean-out of your following on your social media channels. Focus on following people who are uplifting and inspiring. Follow the people that motivate you to do well in your life and your writing. Do this in real life, too! Spend more time with your optimistic friends and family. Find a place to make new friends who share the same spirit as you.
You don’t need to continue living in a negative mindset if you don’t want to. Change it. You’ll feel infinitely better when you do.