A step towards Positive Thinking

Author

Global User

Akansha Rastogi

Date :

Be positive! It’s good to be positive! See the positive side of this. These are few phrases we keep listening in our day to day life where everyone around us is suggesting to be happy and cheerful all the time. But, ask yourself is it possible to do so? Of course optimism is a trait but nothing works at extremes. Our emotions also have a spectrum which keeps fluctuating depending upon multiple factors like our mood, environment, current situation, health, support systems etc.  The list is endless as our thoughts and feelings are based not only our experiences of the past but a range of factors some of which we can’t control. Also, I personally feel that having negative thoughts is not a choice, these are automatic thoughts which keep coming. So we need to be really mindful of our narratives about other people and even our own selves. For example, I often hear people telling “you always think negative” “Move on” “You find negativity in everything” etc, but I want to ask you that at some point of your life you would have been there too.  Did you choose that? Did you ask negative thoughts to be your companion? No, of course not. These feelings can stem out of our own fears, insecurities and other related factors and harsh words from people around us might make us feel more vulnerable and helpless.  Also, we need to separate problem from the person, thoughts are negative not the person. The moment we separate the two, half the issue is resolved because we are working towards finding a solution rather than addressing the person responsible for the thoughts they have.  

I know it’s enough discussion about “Being Positive”, but how to address the big elephant in room which forms a “black cloud” and blurs our perspective. So, here are few simple strategies which can help us to move gradually towards positivity. Remember, it’s not magic and nothing will change overnight. It’s a process and a journey you are ready to take.  All the best! Choose what suits you as there is not a fixed success oriented plan but things will work differently as each one of us is unique in our own way. 

  • Start your day with gratitude. You can make a gratitude journal or simply sit quietly and think of 5 things you are grateful for. It’s a good idea to write as when feeling a little low, you can always get back to the list. 
  • Take baby steps- A lot of times we push ourselves a lot and eventually it doesn’t work, its important to take small steps and build over it. For instance, sit for 10 minutes and do something you really enjoy. Your good mood can create ripple effect and keep away the negative effects for a while. Slowly, we can increase the duration and gradually the process becomes effortless and we don’t have to force ourselves anymore. 
  • Appreciate yourself and think of your qualities. A lot of negativity stems out from our inner self-doubt, insecurities and fear. In this fast pacing life we tend to get critical about ourselves and forget to look at positive aspects. As a person we need validation and affection from ourselves more than others. Pat your back, pamper yourself, talk in front of mirror and use words like “I am proud of myself”. What I am talking about is not narcissism, but self-love and acceptance. 
  • Create a happy corner: Create a happy corner at your home which brings in good vibes. This is your comfort zone. Make it with the intent of “your safe place” and put things or create things around which rejoices your heart. For instance, I have created my happy corner with a little green mat, few plants and colors to do some artwork. Even a glance of that corner makes me happy. 
  • Give your dreams a structure: We all have dreams and we want to conquer them too, however at times they get lost in other thoughts. Create a vision board, journal etc. to give a concrete form to your dreams. For example, stick pictures, write your thoughts and write affirmations and keep it in a place where you could see it frequently. Spend some time thinking about them and how to fulfill them. It’s a form of anchor created to look forward to something which gets missed while in a loop of negative thoughts. 
  • Support Systems: While it is important to be self-empowered the significance of support systems plays a vital role too. Think of your support systems as it gives us strength and the fact that someone has our back is quite comforting. Here, I would also say that its not about quantity but quality of relationships. Even having one strong anchor is enough to help you sail through. Here, I am not talking about dependence on others but a feeling of being understood and supported which helps us to stay grounded at times of distress. 
  • Move your body and mind: Do some exercise, dance etc. to shake it off. A lot of spiritual healers talk about how our body stores memories in its cells and so with these ways we can just let the emotions out in a fun way. A lot of studies could be found online about the relation of exercise and release of “dopamine” which is also known as “happy hormone”. I am not going in details as you can get a lot of material online. Meditation, breath work , yoga, visualizations  etc are some ways to keep your mind calm. 
  • Happiness is an inside job: Happiness is quite subjective to each one of us and it has to be created for one own self. No one else in the world can work it for you. In this fast pace of life we often forget our likes and dislikes and get indulged in monotony or a robotic structure or be in a competitive spirit all the time. It’s the need of the hour, however in the process how many times we look back to the joy of “little thing” we used to enjoy. It could be simply sipping tea while listening to your favorite song or just talking to a friend. Create those moments of happiness for yourself as you are Incharge. Take your own responsibility J 
  • Take a day off from social media and have a “date with yourself”: One of the things I realized during lockdown is that “screens” have become so important in our lives. Netflix, games, Instagram, whatsapp, facebook, twitter and a lot more. It is really hard to stay away from it. These mediums always keep us stimulated and spending time with ourselves takes a back seat. Also, with online learning modality gaining importance; all of us have  access to so much information that we tend to get curious and get in a rut of doing a lot of things. What I want to point out here is that learning is an ongoing process and it will never end, so step back and PAUSE and take a day off from all the gadgets. Believe me, it might be hard initially to think of what could be done without them, but it’s a great way to be aware about you, tap into natural environment and just be. Life is not a productivity challenge, enjoy it and take care. 

In the end, I would just like to say that this article was a small initiative to tap into positivity by taking one step at a time and stay grounded. You can choose what works for you and remember positivity is a way, it’s not absolute; give yourself time to process other emotions too and figure out your own coping ways. 

Have a playful day 

 

(Writer is Developmental Psychologist, Children First, Gurugram)