• Y.O.G.A. Blog ~ Body, Mind, Spirit!

  • Think Positive!

    January 1, 2015
  • Happiness is a choice.

    So why is it that so many people choose negativity over a positive thought so easily? Maybe you have been conditioned by your upbringing, maybe you’re a worrier, or maybe you’ve never taken the time to examine your thoughts.

    Take a minute or two right now and think about the things you think to yourself. Do you beat yourself up with a lot of “I should have” or do you affirm the good things you do? Try watching your thoughts throughout this month. Jot them down. Become aware of your thought patterns – both good and bad.

    Thought becomes Word
    Word becomes Action
    Action becomes Habit
    Habit hardens into Character ~ Anonymous

    What we think is who we are. The great thing is that we can choose our thoughts.
    Science is now proving that we can be healthier just by the nature of the thoughts we choose to think.

    According to the Mayo Clinic, the possible health benefits of positive thinking may include:
    • Increased life span
    • Lower rates of depression
    • Lower levels of distress
    • Greater resistance to the common cold
    • Better psychological and physical well-being
    • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
    • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

    If you’re not sure if your self-talk is positive or negative, first compare it to these common types of negative self-talk:

    Filtering. You magnify the negative aspects of a situation and filter out all of the positive ones. For example, say you had a great day at work. You completed your tasks ahead of time and were complimented for doing a speedy and thorough job. But you forgot one minor step. That evening, you focus only on your oversight and forget about the compliments you received.

    Personalizing. When something bad occurs, you automatically blame yourself. Perhaps you hear that an evening out with friends is canceled, so you assume that the change in plans is because no one wanted to be around you.

    Catastrophizing. You automatically anticipate the worst. You spill your coffee on your shirt while driving to work and you automatically think the rest of your day will be a disaster.

    Polarizing. You see things only as good or bad, black or white. There is no middle ground. You feel that you have to be perfect or that you're a total failure.

    So, do any of them describe you?

    Maybe you already tend to be an optimist and your thought patterns run along positive lines:

    Humor. You find the humor in situations. You can laugh at yourself. Finding humor is an excellent way to stay positive.

    Exercise. Taking care of your body is a priority for you. The endorphins released during every form of exercise lift your mood and reinforce your positive outlook.

    Healthy Diet. You choose to consume live food as often as possible. Eliminating processed foods, sugars and junk food from your diet makes you feel better almost immediately. When your diet is consistently healthy, an occasional splurge can be very positive and fun!

    Support. You surround yourself with positive, happy people. Taking time to call or spend time with people who lift you up is on your to-do list daily or at least weekly.

    Friendship. You are your own best friend. You treat yourself well. You don’t say mean things to yourself that you would never say to anyone else. You are kind and patient with yourself.

    My all time favorite book is The Game of Life by Florence Shovel Shinn. It was published in 1925. I have purchased around a hundred copies of this little book and given them to friends, family and clients. Ms. Shinn simplifies this concept that our subconscious is basically just energy. Like steam or electricity, it needs a conduit to follow. Our thoughts are the conduit. It’s as simple as saying to yourself that you ‘always get a good parking space’ or you ‘never get a good parking space’. What would you rather create? It’s your choice. Try it, make it a habit and see what happens!

    These choices don’t affect just your physical body, they radiate out into your life. So choosing positive thoughts can create positive circumstances for you. This is the basis of pretty much every self help book out there from Anthony Robbins to Suze Oman.

    The difference between can and cannot are only three letters - three letters that determine your life's direction. ~ Remez Sasson

    Don’t despair if you realize that you tend to be a pessimist. Positive thinking can be learned. Awareness is the first step. When you are aware that you are choosing a negative thought, you can replace it with a positive one. It takes about 21 days to create a habit - positive or negative. So why not start today, the first day of the brand New Year!

    Be patient and kind with yourself though. Sometimes even the most optimistic person can experience difficult situations and lose their normal positive outlook. Positive thinking doesn't mean that you keep your head in the sand and ignore life's less pleasant situations. Positive thinking just means that you approach the unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst.

    Examine the chatter in your head. Make a positive choice and you might find yourself smiling a lot more often! Don’t expect change overnight. But the more you engage in positive thinking, the more you’ll realize how much happiness is under your control.

    Here are the Positive Thinking Lyrics!

    Make it a HAPPY New Year!