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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

How to Stay Positive? Just Stop Those Negative Thoughts!

There are many articles, newsletters and sites that tell us how to be positive and stay happy. They all give more or less the same “how-to’s”. These are all good and usually comprise a long list of tips such as looking inside yourself and appreciate who you are, think happy memories, get motivated, develop a gratitude journal, determine why your life sucks, etc, etc. Some tips are good instant ‘fixers’; some ‘fixers’ take some time to develop and put to practice, while others do not do much, to say the least.

I prefer tips that give immediate results but with permanent good effects. In this particular situation, I especially avoid those that tell me to analyze myself and to determine why my life sucks. Really, I don't have the time for that especially when I am already on this train of devilish thoughts that’s rapidly heading me straight to derailment. I want instant fixers which can be developed into good habits and give me a happy perspective on life.

How to Feel Good

So when you feel your day is about to go terribly bad with a negative thought lodged in your head, just shrug off that bad thought and replace it instantly with a positive thought. How can you do that? I have come up with a list of 5 good fixers to make my day chirpy. They have worked wonders for me.

  1. Feel Grateful
  2. Start your Day with Laughter
  3. Smile a Lot
  4. Read Inspirational Quotes/Articles
  5. Be Hopeful – Look Forward to Tomorrow

Beware the Law of Attraction

Take caution, though. It really is true about the law of attraction. Positive thoughts attract an abundance of positive thoughts. By internalizing these wondrous feelings – gratitude, happiness, cheerfulness, inspiration, and hope – that come with practicing the 5 habits I mentioned, you will attract an abundance of happy feelings. Be cautious, therefore, on the flip side. For, if you start on a negative thought, you will attract more bad feelings and situations. Been there, done that. Just one bad thought, like bitching about the boss or that dumb-dumb colleague who got promoted, will attract bad events and situations - you may be bypassed in office promotion, or relocated or transferred.

I have gone through bad patches in life where I took some things badly, and nurtured the anger and hate inside. I even took it further, and send out smses to spread bad stories about the target of my anger. Long story short, I suffered the consequences for more than a year, things just went from bad to worse. I then realize that the only way I can make good is to stop those bad thoughts, replace them with good ones, look at the target of my hate in a positive light, and be happy for them. And then, things started to change for the better. So really, I am learning and re-learning every time.

The 5 Tips to Stay Positive

I will briefly share the 5 things I do to stay positive and to hold on to that happy feeling inside.

1. Feel Grateful

The quickest way to get rid of that bad thought that keeps bugging you is to shake it off literally, and instantly replace it with a grateful thought. No matter, how trivial that good thought is, just feel grateful about anything good that’s going on in your life. For instance, be grateful that you can afford a car and can drive to work in comfort. Glance at the bus station if you drive past one, and be grateful that you don’t have to stand in the rain, cold or heat to catch a bus to work. Be grateful that you even have a salary, for you are more fortunate than a jobless person or that homeless person out on the street. Hold on to that warm feeling of gratitude and continue to feel it, for it will make your day get better and better.

2. Start your Day with Laughter

I love to sit down for morning break with my buddies at work and just laugh at some old jokes, or at the recent antics of our 5 or 6 year-olds, or just laugh at our stupid selves sometimes. It is true about laughter being the best medicine. When you laugh till you cry at some good jokes, the rest of the day will just be dandy, and need I say that the rest of the year will just be filled with laughter.

3. Smile a Lot

There is something about a smile that gives people that warm, cozy feeling. When a person’s face lights up with a smile at you, it is hard to resist giving back a smile and you can even feel your stress evaporating. A smile will launch a thousand smiles,no doubt, and remember, a smile can lift that droop on your face, making you look years younger!

4. Read Inspirational Quotes/Articles

There are some days when I don’t seem to have much to look forward to. So I will deliberately look up some inspirational books to read. And these days, it is made so much easier with the internet. I just go to any of the sites that can make you feel good about life, and read some inspirational stories. These are easy to find, you just google for sites on how to be happy, on being healthy, or on getting rich. One of my favorites is the science of getting rich site, where the articles, forum and related activities have helped make good my day every time. In addition, I maintain a link to a quotations page that provides a daily update on motivational quotes (see bottom of this page) which keeps me having that 'feel good' feeling everyday.

5. Be Hopeful – Look Forward to Tomorrow

Hope has made its share of numerous miracles in life. Having hope has kept many alive, literally – spiritually, emotionally, physically. We’ve heard tragic stories of people giving up hope and just curling up and die. And many more stories about people who have been cured and brought back from the brink of death because they never gave up hope. To believe in hope is one of the secrets to creating miracles in our lives.

So, there, the five simple tricks to keep you staying positive day after day. Try them, and better still, make a habit out of them. They cost nothing. In fact, you will have nothing to lose but everything to gain. They will bring many, many small miracles every day into your life!


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