4 Powerful Ways to Develop a Positive Mindset
I would like to begin by saying that positive thinking is not easy. If it was easy, everyone would have a positive mindset. The world would be a much better place. Positive thinking requires strength. It is very easy to look at a situation and complain. It takes no effort to blame others for your misfortune. It takes no effort to point out a person's flaws. But to appreciate goodness, it takes courage. To look at the positive in every situation requires strength. So here are a few ways in which you can develop a positive mindset.
Avoid the all or nothing trap
The all or nothing attitude is a trap. This is where people do the entire thing or they don't do anything at all. They don't realise that there is so much in between.
Examples for all or nothing thinking
- I'll either score 100% or I won't take the test at all.
- I'll either make a million or I won't work at all.
- I'll either clean the entire house or I won't clean at all.
There is a huge problem with this kind of attitude. You might not have the skills, time or energy to achieve your goal. But that doesn't mean that you can't do anything. Start small and start progressing towards your goal.
Start by cleaning one room a day. In a week, your entire house will be clean. Start by learning how to earn 1000 dollars. Then start making 10,000 dollars. You will slowly reach your target of a million dollars.
You cannot reach the top overnight. Don't try to do everything at once because that will result in failure. When you encounter more and more failure, you will start thinking negatively. Remember that there is a whole world of possibilities between all and nothing. When you start small and progress gradually, those little victories will encourage positive thinking.
Understand your RAS
RAS stands for Reticular Activating System. It acts as the gatekeeper of information between most sensory organs and the conscious mind. The sensory organs pick up enormous amounts of information. But the conscious mind can process only a small portion of it. So The RAS filters the information and selects only what is important. So even though we see so many things, we consciously notice very few things.
Using your RAS for positive thinking
Information that is important for our survival is the first priority. This could be the sound of your name being said, the honk of a vehicle etc. Apart from this, information that can add value to our conscious thoughts are selected. When you are thinking of yellow cars, you notice more of them on the road. This is because the RAS considers this information necessary.
When you are happy, you enjoy the music. But when you are sad, you understand the lyrics. The song remains the same. But you notice whatever coincides with your mental state.
So, if you consciously think positive, you will notice all the good things around you. Your brain will start giving you more evidence that the world is a wonderful place. This will in turn make you more positive.
Maintain a gratitude diary
This is one of the most popular ways to practice positive thinking. Every night, make a list of 10 things that you are grateful for. It's great if you have more. But 10 is the bare minimum. These could be the smallest of things like a friendly gesture by a colleague or a good cup of tea. The list could have the people you love or the things that you have accomplished. Anything that has made you feel positive during the day must be on the list. Think as hard as possible and list every little thing you are grateful for. Thanks to your RAS, you will notice the list getting bigger and bigger everyday. When you have so many things to be grateful for, you cannot have a negative mindset.
Discard the clutter
You need to take the garbage out regularly. Otherwise your house will start stinking. Similarly there is a lot of accumulated mental garbage. This is primarily in the form of grudges, anger , jealousy, resentment etc. It is difficult to be positive while holding on to all these negative emotions.
Make it a habit to let go of the past. Forgive those who have done wrong to you. You might not want to trust them again. That is completely acceptable. But make sure you forgive them. They might not deserve forgiveness. But you deserve peace of mind. Your attitude is not the reflection of their character. It is a reflection of your own. So to maintain the purity of your own mind, discard the clutter. With all these negative emotions off your shoulders, your thinking will become a lot more positive.
© 2020 Avyukth Krishna