Positive Thinking Techniques
How to for Positive Thinking
In the first part of this Mind Power series, I wrote about how to develop deep thinking and gave you 3 effective strategies on how to accomplish that. You can read that article here – 3 Strategies for Deep Thinking. Those strategies were designed to increase your mind and thought power and in part two of this series, I will discuss another very important aspect of developing mastery over your mind, and that is by learning how to become a positive thinker and exploit the power of positive thinking.
You may have heard about the power of positive thinking, and indeed it is widely accepted that positive thinking is a huge blessing to your life, but you might have not have been given tangible techniques on how to actually become a positive thinker. So in this article, I am going to give you practical tips on how to accomplish this, so you too can enjoy the benefits of having a positive mind, full of positive thoughts and feelings.
Benefits of Positive Thinking
Before I jump ahead to the 5 techniques on how to do positive thinking, I just want to briefly summarize for you the advantages of being a positive thinker. Positive thinking is inspiring, beneficial to your health, energizing and uplifting for both you and others. In addition, it brings you joy, confidence, strength, charisma and charm. Around positive people you will always feel that anything can be accomplished, regardless of how difficult the challenge. Let me give you an example of this below.
Swami Dayananda Saraswati’s Lesson on Positive Thinking
During my summer stays at Arsha Vaidya Gurukulam, I was often around Swami Dayananda Saraswati and on one such occasion it was the day before a big fund raiser that the ashram was running. Everyone was worried. There was so much to do and the preparations were not going well. In addition, there was the risk of bad weather, which meant the turnout could be poor. There were these and other problems swirling around, and in the midst of all this, was Swamiji, calm and cool, and always with a smile.
“If even I start to worry, can you imagine what the repercussions would be?” Is all he said to me. I understood. He was the rock, he was the source of calm, and his positive attitude and demeanor, were the key to holding everything together. If he abandoned positive thinking at this point, the whole event would just collapse.
His positive attitude kept things going and needless to say the following day’s event was indeed a great success.
You are the Swami of your life. You have to keep your positive thinking and attitude going and then, all else will be infected by this positivity. Then you too will be able to remain calm, cool and collective in the middle of the storms of life and like Swamiji, see difficult times through with a smile.
5 Keys On How to Ensure Positive Thinking
Technique #1: Substitute Positive Thoughts for Negative Ones
Negative thinking is not just an obstacle to meditation, it can also be detrimental to your life in general. This is especially true if you are drowning in negative thinking and it is preventing you from achieving the life your ought to be living. Negative thinking includes worrying, self criticizing, fear mongering, etc, etc. There are many techniques and exercises to rid yourself of such thinking and I have discussed a few very effective ones in the article – Anxiety and Depression | 4 Effective Treatments.
In addition to the techniques I detailed in that article though, I want to give you a new one today, which will not just get rid of negative thinking, but will also make you a positive thinker. That technique is the use of substitution.
Whenever you catch yourself entertaining negative thoughts, just substitute them with the opposite positive ones. If you are thinking you are going to fail an exam, think instead you are going to ace it. If you are thinking that a presentation is going to be a mess, think instead how great it is going to go. If you catch yourself thinking anything negative about yourself, like you are too fat or sick, substitute for it thinking that you are beautiful and healthy.
In this way start to challenge and change the patterns of negative thinking, and with vigilance and patience you will begin to break these patterns and start to establish new ones. Patterns of thought that are positive, uplifting and encouraging.
Technique #2: Substitute Positive Feelings for Negative Ones
This is closely related to the substitute method above but it is for feelings. Try to substitute for any base and negative emotions, lofty and high emotions. So for hatred and jealousy, substitute love; for anger, substitute forgiveness; for pride, substitute humility, etc. In this way try to rid yourself of the negative emotion, and doing so will prevent the storm of negative thinking such emotions unleash.
In time, positive emotions will preside and positive thinking will follow.
Technique #3: Positivity List
If you find you are getting overwhelmed with negative thinking, depression and worry, I suggest making a list of all the positive things you have and the positive things you do. Then reading this list in the morning and at night. Also, keep adding to this list and use it to remind yourself of your blessings throughout the day.
You can further enhance this technique by keeping a positivity journal, where you reflect on the positive things from a particular day. Recall the good aspects of that day and remember all the good feelings you can. Furthermore, by putting them to ink, you will strengthen their affect.
We are all blessed in so many ways, but often we take these blessings for granted and instead focus on a few problem areas of our lives. So keep a positivity list and read it often to ensure you remember how much you have to feel good about and be thankful for.
Technique #4: Surround Yourself with Positive Energy and People
Our culture and environment is filled with negativity. Everywhere you turn you are bombarded with negative news and conflicts. So and so is fighting with so and so, news is full of murder and rape, TV crime shows, horror movies, etc, etc.
To make matters worse, we are also surrounded by people who are filled with negative energy and all too eager to share this negative energy with you, as well as sap you of your positive energy.
So what can your poor mind do? It is so influenced by all this negativity that it starts to gravitate in that direction too. So it is sometimes important to change your environment.
See if you can surround yourself with good books, uplifting shows, beautiful nature and positive, happy people. Such an environment will make a big difference in what you think about and will be instrumental in helping you become a positive thinker.
Technique #5: Use Mantra and Prayer to Defeat Negative Thinking
Along with the substitute method, the use of mantra and prayer to dislodge negative thinking is also very effective. A lot of times, while you are busy during the day, you don’t dwell in negative thinking, but then when you are in bed at night or alone and unoccupied, negative thinking again rears its ugly head and starts to dominate your mind. Here you can simply switch to mantra repetition and put your mind to God in order to stop the negative pattern.
There are many great mantras for doing this, such as the Gayatri Mantra or the Mahamritunjay Mantra. You can even use breath awareness, along with So Hum Mantra Meditation to occupy the mind in a positive way and drive away the negative thoughts.
This method is very useful for those dealing with negative thinking at night and suffering from insomnia due to excessive worry and anxiety.
By using divine thoughts and feelings of love, coupled with the mantra, you will soon start to see a noticeable change in your mind and demeanor.
Positive Thinking Techniques Summary:
At the highest level, you are looking to still the mind of thoughts and penetrate the veil of duality, but on the journey there, you may be faced with many challenges, some mundane and some profound. Negative thinking is just such a challenge. It can discourage you, sap your confidence and energy, make you unhappy and unfortunately, mislead you into believing that the Truth is too hard to attain. These conditions are not conducive to meditation and the exploration of the Self.
So it is necessary to be a positive thinker not just for happiness, peace, energy, confidence and success, but also for spiritual growth and meditation. So don’t allow negative thoughts to become an additional hinderance to your practice, instead use the techniques above to learn how to become a positive thinker and enjoy the power of positive thinking.
If you have techniques you have successfully used to defeat negative thinking and become a positive thinker, please do share those with us in the comments section below.
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