Why positivity is my new ‘religion’
By Karen Chin
I DON’T remember the day I found positivity. It doesn’t really matter how it came about (whether from a movie, in a book, or from a religion), but life all starts to fall into place when you actively decide to embrace this way of thinking.
When I was in my late teens, I walked into a clinic with a list of bad feelings that I could not shake off for several months. The doctor assessed me via a formal battery and diagnosed me with Moderate Depression. She prescribed me anti-depressants and I was sent off on my way with no follow-up.
We have all been through bouts of woes where we feel like we have reached the end of our ropes, regardless of whether it is a reaction to an unfortunate event or just general gloom. I have noticed that some people get through these ‘troubles’ better than others.
From my experience (things I went through myself and things I’ve noticed while speaking to peers who are going the same thing), self-talk and thought processes are the keys to determining if you are a happy or a depressed person.
After that though, I found that simple positive thoughts might have helped me a lot better than the Prozac the doctor prescribed to me. My gloom may have been more situational than an embedded mental dysfunction, and I could have benefitted from thought management either way.
Fighting negativity with positivity
Positivity and negativity are both contradicting energies. These energies have the power to influence your mood and your day. Your power over this is choice: Tell yourself that you have decided to choose positive thinking and regulate your thoughts accordingly throughout the day.
Some self-help websites actually suggest manipulating your environment and lifestyle in an organised way, such as putting up reminders on your mirror, in your car, listening to uplifting music, and even self-talk or prayers.
On days when I wake up feeling awful or just need a little boost in my attitude and life, I scroll my Twitter feed (I follow a ton of people who tweet positivity quotes).
A change for the better in mindset can affect how you see yourself, your situation and influence the way you handle things around you.
I believe that some people who are prone to depression are generally people who have difficulty regulating their thoughts. I personally find it a struggle to turn a negative thought into a positive one, but with the right amount of motivation, it gets easier.
Think of it as emotional exercise.
“I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.” -Pearl S. Buck
A positive mindset is simple and universal
Simplify this concept because it really need not be complicated. Positive thinking has no affiliation with anything else besides thinking good thoughts.
Read positive quotes and believe it. Use the words and transfer them into an energy that drives you and fills you up with endorphins. Positivity can be flexibly practiced by anyone, religion-bound or free-thinker.Best of all, it can be contagious.
Positivity is an attitude. A parent can play a big role in feeding positivity to their young child or teenager. A friend can be the source of good vibes to another one in need.
“Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.” – Albert Einstein
Spotting the silver lining in every dark cloud
One lesson that stuck with me was something my ex-boss said when I was working for her: “Always look for anything positive in everything even when things go wrong.”
It was as simple as looking at the bright side of a failed project. We may not have achieved our sales target and wasted time and effort, but we learned to make better choices next time. We learned not to repeat our mistakes twice.
It is difficult to catch a glimpse of the silver lining in the clouds when there is a heavy storm, but open your eyes and search because it will be truly worthwhile when you spot it.
“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow you have to put up with the storm.” – Dolly Parton
Count your blessings
Many years ago, the mother of an autistic child I was giving therapy to told me this, “We can’t let ourselves get down, we have to count all the eggs in the basket.”
What I got from that was that with all the curve balls that life throws at us, there are good things that remain too. We have to see the good things and treasure those blessings, rather than focus on the bad cards.
When a friend with a privileged lifestyle comes to me and tell me how low he or she feels and keeps harping on about it, I can’t help but wish we could trade lives.
Sometimes it helps to take a step back and really be grateful for all the blessings in your life, no matter how small.
“… Maybe if we are surrounded in beauty, one day we will become what we see… I rather see the world from another angle…” – Jewel Kilcher
Believing in something bigger than yourself
I believe in God. I know this is a crucial belief because we can’t be the only one in control of our lives. We all need something more powerful, be it karma, God, or gods, it doesn’t matter because the belief that there is something or someone bigger than ourselves is very good for our minds, especially when we are weak or we feel like we have already tried our best. This is the feeling of letting go and letting things take its course.
This is what acceptance feels like.
“Let your dreams be bigger than your fears, your actions louder than your words, and your faith stronger than your feelings.” Unknown
So trust me, take that first step to a lifestyle of positive thinking and you things will definitely get brighter for you. Actively surround yourself with physical reminders, people with good vibes and a willing mind!