Have you ever wondered, how do I think positive?
There’s enough research that shows the importance of positive thinking and the many benefits it has on our health, on our mental state, on our life. But the question becomes, “How do I apply that into my life? How do I think positively?”
Today I wanted to share some practical tips on applying positive thinking into your life so that you can maximize its power.
We think between 60 to 80 thousand thoughts in a day, and we are basically thinking the same thoughts over and over again every day. We have habits or patterns of the thoughts that we think. We wake up thinking the same things we thought when we woke up yesterday. We drive to work thinking the same thoughts that we thought yesterday. We fall into these patterns or habits of thinking, which then creates our feelings, actions, and results.
That’s called the results formula, which goes like this:
Our thoughts cause our feelings. When you think empowered thoughts when you think about things that you’re excited about, you feel a certain way. If you’re thinking about your big to-do list in the short amount of time you have to do it, you might start to feel overwhelmed, anxious. So our thoughts cause our feelings. There’s a physiological response that happens.
Our feelings cause our actions. When you’re feeling empowered, confident, or positive, you take different actions than when you’re feeling anxious, worried, fearful.
Our thoughts cause our feelings, and our feelings cause our actions, or sometimes our inactions, and it’s those actions that ultimately create our results.
If we want to change our results, we have to go where those results were first created, which was in our thinking.
The number one tool that I share with clients is really around metacognition, or our ability to notice what we’re noticing.
Please do this for me while you are reading: Notice your big right toe. Notice your left knee. Notice your right shoulder. Notice what you’ve been thinking about, without judgment. Just notice your thoughts. And now notice your ability to notice your thoughts. That’s what the Buddhists would call our observer self. Its metacognition. It’s our ability to have an awareness of the thoughts that we’re thinking.
As we increase our ability in that metacognition, and we become more aware of the thoughts we’re thinking of how we’re feeling, that’s where we can really get into this more empowered state, where we can now control those thoughts and direct our thinking.
If your attention is on problems, your fears, worries, doubt, or the things that you’re scared of, that’s where our attention is. That’s where our dominant thought pattern is going to be. By having that awareness, you can then intentionally choose, “what’s a more expansive thought I can think here?” “Where else could I be placing my attention? Can I be placing it on my vision, goals, or what about the things that are going right in my life?” And as we shift our attention to gratitude, our goals, or what we want to achieve, we start to think differently, we start to think from a more expansive state, so we feel better. And when we feel better, we take different actions, which produces different results.
So the best place to start in all of this is by just being aware. Start to pay more attention to how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking about. And as you notice yourself thinking negative or worry-based thoughts, the key is not to judge them. Don’t make it wrong that you’re having those thoughts. We’re all thinking those thoughts at some point but celebrate the awareness. And as you celebrate the awareness, it makes it a more positive experience. So don’t berate yourself for thinking negatively.
As you get into that practice of being more aware, you can really shift your attention. So what’s a more positive thing I could think about here? What would I love to create here? What do I have to be grateful for this moment? And slowly, you will start to shift those patterns of thinking.
I hope what you got from this is your thoughts matter. You can absolutely change those thought patterns so that you can create even greater results in your life.
Start your positive thinking today by just noticing what you’re noticing and shifting your attention little by little, and through that practice, you will start to see some results.
To you living a life you love,