Do you ever pay attention to your thoughts? Do you notice if your thoughts lean more towards negative thinking, or are you able to turn them around and stay positive?
Your thoughts are patterns which create your moods – both present and future moods. They impact your general outlook. In the current state of affairs worldwide, it’s certainly understandable that people are having a hard time staying positive – or to even focus on what’s going well.
We’re constantly witnessing horrific events around the globe. Of course we’re all moved by these events. But if we want to maintain an upbeat attitude and thrive in our lives, we have to be aware of where we allow our focus to linger. We don’t do ourselves or anyone else much good if we allow our thoughts to turn negative.
Deal In Reality And Then Choose Your Focus
I’m not suggesting we pretend something doesn’t bother us when it does. Doing that leads down the road of denial, which certainly isn’t the one to true happiness or joy. You feel emotions and react to them. This is normal and healthy. But what do you do once you’ve noticed?
Do you find yourself thinking negative thoughts and emotions over and over again? Or are you able to notice them, deal with them, and then choose to focus on a positive? If you can shift your focus off the negative, you have a better chance of being able to do something about a situation you don’t like.
If you allow yourself to remain in the negative thinking pattern, you’re training your brain to focus on this. It doesn’t serve you if you want a happy or productive life. When you’re down, or only looking for the negative aspects of life, it’s hard to move forward in life and give your best.
When you continually concentrate on negative thoughts or emotions, you’re grooving the neural pathways of your brain. The more you “practice” these emotions, the more readily you drop into these emotions or ways of thinking. If this isn’t what you want, it’s time to reconsider how much time you devote to negative thinking.
What’s Your Default Emotional Outlook?
In other words, what is your main point of reference? Do you look for “What’s right?” in a situation or in another person, or do you find yourself looking for “What’s wrong?” Maybe you’ve never even thought of it this way. I know years ago, I had no idea the way I viewed the world was through “What’s wrong with this picture?” It was just my way of thinking and problem solving.
I viewed life and situations as “what needed to be better about this?” It’s just the way I was raised, so I thought it was normal. Thankfully, someone I knew pointed it out to me and I was able to change my perspective about life. If you notice this is one of your habits, you can decide to change how you view the world at any time. It just takes some practice in doing it.
Retrain Your Thoughts
Believe it or not, you can actually train your mind to focus on positives. By doing so, you end up changing what your brain looks for in every circumstance. When you “practice” looking for the positive, it becomes a habit. This also begins to groove the positive neural pathways in your brain. So, good news! You can change your outlook and even moods by practicing a positive outlook.
This isn’t to encourage denial in anyway. I never advocate pretending there isn’t something wrong or negative when there is. It’s about honestly looking at a situation, person, or event, seeing all sides of it, and then choosing which part of it you’ll put your focus on.
Over time, you’ll discover you begin to notice all sorts of great things. You’ll find you’re in a better mood more naturally and you’ll even feel grateful for just being alive. It’s a fabulous feeling. The more you practice this, the easier it becomes. And the happier you are, the more positive impact you have in not only your life, but in the lives of the people around you.