Center for Marital and Family Therapy of Brooklyn NY
Have you ever noticed how refreshingly fun it is to be around positive thinking people who seem to naturally maintain a positive attitude? No matter how bad the circumstances, negativity never even enters their minds, let alone crosses their lips to form negative, faithless words! But let's be honest, encountering a positive person is a rare occurrence these days. Whoops, that sure was a negative thought!
In her typically light-hearted tone, Karen Wolff of Christian-Books-for-Women.com shows us how to turn our negative thoughts into positive thinking — permanently — with these positive attitude tips.
Negative Versus Positive Thinking
Why is it so much easier to have a negative attitude than a positive one? What's inside of us that just naturally pulls us toward the negative side of things?
We read the books. We attend the seminars. We buy the tapes, and things seem to go well for awhile. We feel better. Our outlook is improved, and we're hopeful. That is ... until something happens that sends us reeling all over again.
It doesn't even have to be a major, catastrophic event to send us back to the land of negative thinking. It can be something as simple as someone cutting us off in traffic or pushing ahead of us in the grocery checkout line. What gives those seemingly simple occurrences of every day life so much power to literally throw us into a tizzy all over again?
This never ending cycle continues because its source is never addressed.
We "try hard" to be positive, attempting to over-ride how we truly feel. It's a lot of work pretending to be positive when inside we know all too well that it won't take long before one of those annoying life issues creeps up and dumps all over our positive attitude.
Negative attitudes come from negative thoughts that come from reactions to negative behavior. And around the cycle goes. We know that none of this negative stuff is coming from God. There is nothing negative about the way he thinks or acts.
So how do we put a stop to all this nonsense? How do we get to a place where our positive attitude is what's natural for us and not the other way around?
I wish I could give you a magic formula that, when applied correctly, would erase your negative attitude in three days. Yup, can't you just see the infomercial on a product like that? For just $19.95 you can have all your dreams come true. What a bargain! People would be lining up for this one.
But alas, the real world isn't quite so simple. The good news is that there are some things we can do to help transition from the land of negativity to a much more positive place.
Positive Thinking Tips for a Positive Attitude - Permanently
- First, focus on what you're thinking about. Remember what I said about being stuck because we never addressed the source? Our negative actions and words are coming from our negative thoughts. Our body, including the mouth, has no choice but to follow wherever our mind goes. It is possible to control our thoughts, regardless of what we've been led to believe. As soon as a negative thought comes into your mind, purposefully make it a point to replace it with a positive one. (2 Corinthians 10:5) At first, this may take some work, because chances are, we will probably have a lot more negative thoughts in our head than positive ones. But eventually, the ratio will reverse itself.
- Second, stop letting other people's negative attitudes influence yours. This may mean we need to stop hanging around with people who do nothing but spout negative stuff. We can't afford to do this when our goal is to become more positive. The negative people in our life aren't going to like it when we stop participating in negativity. Just remember that birds of a feather really do flock together.
- Third, make a list of all the areas in your life that you want to change. List all your negative attitudes too. If you can't think of things to put on your list, just ask your family. I'll bet they'll help you make it a really long list!
- Fourth, take some time to write strong, life-giving, positive affirmation statements. Make a commitment to read those statements out loud every day. Enjoy how great they make you feel. Know in your heart that you're making progress, even if you can't see it just yet. Just keep affirming the positive.
- Lastly, take time to pray about this. You can't change by yourself. But you can spend time with the One who is able to help. Do what you can, and let God do the rest. It really is that simple.
This process will change how we think and that's the real key to changing how we act. Remember, the body will follow wherever the mind goes. There is no way to separate the two, so we might as well "program in" what we want, instead of randomly leaving it to chance.
Just know that God's version of a right attitude contains nothing negative. And if we want God's best for our life, it starts with right thoughts — his thoughts to be exact.
Also by Karen Wolff
• How to Hear from God
• How to Share Your Faith
• Raising Kids God's Way
• 4 Keys to Making Right Decisions
• Overcoming Jealousy
Karen Wolff, a contributing writer for About.com, is host to a Christian Web site for women. As founder of Christian-Books-for-Women.com, she wants to provide Christian women with a place to find practical information, tips, and help with a variety of issues they face every day. For more information visit Karen's Bio Page.