Following on from How to be Absolutely Positive, where we discussed the huge impact that negative news can have on us and highlighted some steps to being absolutely positive, I want to share more insights on this theme.
Focus on the Here and Now
Too many of us spend our time mulling over our past. We think about something that happened to us, or we think about something that someone told us, that upset us and we play it repeatedly like an old recording. We need to break this habit and ‘be’ right where we are in the moment, here and now. Be mindful and really look at your environment; feel the ground under your feet or the chair under you. Do you notice any smells, any taste and what can you ‘really’ hear? Ground yourself in the present because you can’t really ‘be’ anywhere else. What you do in the moment will create your future!
Learn to Meditate
This is nowhere near as odd or scary as you might imagine! Meditation is easy to learn and, with some practice, the beneficial effects are astounding and undeniable.
If you are curious, please talk to me or a practitioner before you judge meditation. There are many misconceptions around what you are trying to achieve, and how to go about it.
Be Grateful – Count Your Blessings
It is easy for us to focus on what we haven’t reached and become negative or overly critical. Take some time every day to be grateful and thankful for what you have in your life right now. Find these great things and recognise them. The very thought of what you are grateful for will help you maintain a positive attitude in your life. This habit is one of the best ways to turn negative thinking into positive thinking instantly.
Helping others in need, even small acts of kindness and compassion, can be described as a positive selfishness! It makes us feel good too and it’s hard to feel negative when you have brought a little light into someone’s life.
Daily exercise will help you improve your mood, along with helping to fight against stress and depression. Many medical authorities recommend it. This healthy way of life will keep you living longer and living a healthier lifestyle. Remember, exercising will also make you feel better about yourself. When you feel better about yourself, it breeds confidence which will help you in your personal and professional life.
Go for a 30 – 60 minute brisk walk. This is a great exercise to create positive thinking. I walk for an hour, around three times a week:
- The first 1/3rd (20 mins) of each hour I am usually still unwinding from the business of life; the problems, challenges, and ‘mind-chatter’.
- The next 20 mins are all about relaxing the mind, enjoying my surroundings by being really, mindful. If I’m in the countryside, I really use my five senses to ‘see’, ‘hear’, ‘feel’, ‘smell’ and ‘taste’ whatever I can. (I’m not suggesting eating the trees to ‘taste’; taste is a tricky one sometimes!)
- By the last 20 mins I am freer in my mind, I will almost certainly have solved a challenge because I’ve ‘let go’, or I will have at least gained greater clarity… and now, on my way home or to the office I can just relax and enjoy the mental and emotional freedom having come home to myself.
Following, and implementing, any of these practices can truly bring about life changing ways of life. They will take you from underneath that dark cloud of negativity and bring you out into the sunshine of a positive lifestyle. It’s best to start with small steps; some practices work and suit some more than others. Try one at a time.
We can do little about our birth or our death but we can certainly do something about the important bit in the middle. It’s all there for us. The choice is ours. Enjoy life, or suffer it. You decide!
Bob Brotchie is a counsellor, mindset consultant and creator of "Conscious Living by Design"™. He writes for Anglia Counselling, is featured on various other websites and introduces us to many guest writers all covering topics related to mental health and wellbeing.
Bob provides bespoke counselling services to individuals and couples in the privacy and comfort of a truly welcoming environment at his Anglia Counselling company office, located near Newmarket in Suffolk, England. Bob also provides professional online counselling, for local, national, and international clients. The therapeutic models offered are bespoke to the client’s needs, especially those in receipt of 'childhood emotional neglect' (CEN), whilst integrating a mindful approach to psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) principles. For clients experiencing trauma and/or phobia, Bob offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).