26 January 2008

Positive Thinking:

Positive thinking is essentially just thinking in an optimistic manner, in contrast to thinking in a pessimistic way. How we perceive the world and let external influences effect us is in large part a subjective process and we can see it either negatively or positively, the essential argument I wish to make is why not view life positively? Positive thinking may certainly sound like a wanky concept, and trust me once upon a time I would have laughed it off as superstitious shite, but today I am all the wiser for coming to terms with it.

I have an uncle who is, as all my uncles, are a good fellow. However whenever I talk to him on the phone I swear he sounds depressed. I told him once to not be so pessimistic and instead be more optimistic. In reply he stated simply that he was being realistic. Well and good, but what I think he was not understanding is that we in large part define what is real. We choose how we react to a situation. Sure influences themselves may be caused outside our sphere of influence, but we still ultimately have a large amount of control in regards to how we react to a given situation.

Let me give you a bizarre example that sticks in my mind. Let us say you go for a stroll around the block, just to stretch your legs, and in doing so you fall and unfortunately break one of your legs. Your instinct is of course to get very angry at the fact that you’ve broken one of your legs and that you can’t ride your bike anymore or whatever other negative thoughts seem to seep into your mind. However a positive thinker might say “right well, I’ve broken my leg that is a bit unfortunate but I suppose things could have been worse, after all I still have the other leg to get home on, and at least its not hailing.” Odd I know, hence why it seems ridiculous. But out of the two responses to the situation which would you rather be? Neither is right or wrong for in the world of the subjective such concepts are intangible. Given that both responses accept what has happened and are as such not denying reality I would much rather be the optimist. Sure there’d be distress at the broken leg, but on the bright side it would soon heal and at least the unfortunate victim in our scenario would be able to gain back his ability to walk on two legs.

So here is where my uncle was wrong. You can indeed be both a realist and an optimist, much as you can be a realist and a pessimist. Admittedly there is a lot wrong in our world and the media serves largely to make us feel bad about it, but this still doesn’t mean we can’t accept the reality and approach it positively. To say that being negative is being realistic simply isn’t so, one can be negatively realistic or optimistically realistic, the way we approach something needn’t change how real it is. However as I addressed in “TPOH – The Media…:”, the negative image painted to us constantly by our ever loyal media really doesn’t help.

The benefits of thinking positively are well known, firstly you’ll increase your chances of enjoying life and secondly you’ll be more likely to, as a result, do better in many ways in life. So let us all be realistically positive, as why would anyone want to do otherwise and be unhappy and depressed?

Changing your thinking is however, not an easy task. Its easy to consciously say, “right I’ll start thinking more positive now”, in practice however the subconscious does not implement this so easily. The idea of “Living in the Now…:” and appreciating things in their current state I find helps one to think positively. Take the process of change slowly, simply try to see the good things in life over and instead of the bad. Try to shift your focus. If it’s raining as your walking home at least think “I’ve got a place with a roof to go to, somewhere to get dry, and for that I’m thankful.” Give it a go, shift negative thoughts to positive ones. Think “I can” instead of “I can’t”, these little psychological changes can create a huge difference to how you live your life. The tricky part is that its not only a matter of saying “life is good”, but also believing it, or else you will simply feel like you are lying to yourself. I don’t promise that this change will happen over night, but it will certainly happen if you put your mind to it, and in turn will make life all the more enjoyable. So think positively and “Carpe Diem”.

No comments:

Add to Technorati Favorites