How you feel is based on what you think about. Your thoughts control your reality. Think scary thoughts and you feel scared. Think sad thoughts and you feel sad. Think happy thoughts and you feel happy. This is why two people, in the same environment, can each have vastly different thoughts and emotions. Even in response to the same event, one person may be elated while another is devastated.
In order for you to be happy, you have to start with your thoughts. The concept is very simple; positive thoughts make you feel good while negative ones leave you feeling badly. You pick your thoughts. Although you are surrounded by circumstances that affect your thoughts, you are the final arbiter of what goes into your mind.
Positive thinking is easy when everything is going well. You are smiling and feeling great. You have what you want with little or no worries. In essence, it’s easy to feel good when the sun is shining. No special effort is required.
The situation is entirely different when you are facing obstacles or your circumstances are less than ideal. Now negative thoughts creep in automatically and it’s easy to feel bad. When your thoughts turn negative, all aspects of your life become tainted. Even those things that normally make you happy are diminished.
When you are dealing with situations that are unfair or don’t make sense, it’s very easy to slip into feelings of despair which displace all positive thoughts. Even the most positive people encounter circumstances that don’t make sense.
When dealing with tragic or unfortunate circumstances, there is a normal emotional grieving process that one has to go through. But at some point, it’s time to begin moving forward. This is when redirecting your thoughts back to the positive is essential for healing.
Thinking positive thoughts daily is crucial when you are facing problems. It’s easy to lose track of how negative your thoughts become. When this happens, you accept your negative thoughts as “normal.”
When you are feeling stressed and challenged is when you need to put extra effort into thinking positive thoughts. Your mind is a magnet which is programmed by your thoughts. Whatever your mind expects, it finds. Negative thinking attracts negative results. Positive thoughts direct your mind to find desirable solutions.
There are numerous benefits associated with consistent positive thinking. In addition to attracting what you want, positive thinkers experience more joy, happiness, and better health. Positive thinking is also a great technique for combating stress.
Positive thoughts must be based on what you want to achieve, not what you want to avoid. So rather than thinking you don’t want to be sad, you would think about how happy you want to be. Instead of thinking you don’t want to be poor, your thoughts would be of achieving success.
Here are some examples of positive thoughts: “I can do this”, “I’ll find a solution”, “I’ll find a better approach”, “I’ll figure out a way”, “I’ll be successful”, “I will achieve my objectives”, and “Things will work out for the best.”
One pitfall is filtering out positive aspects of a situation in favor of fixating on the negative ones. So, for example, in a situation with 10 positive elements and one negative, you discount the 10 positive and obsess about the one negative. This approach blows any negatives out of proportion.
Thinking positive thoughts daily must become as regular a part of your daily routine as eating. Just as you wouldn’t accept going through the day starving, a day without positive thoughts shouldn’t be tolerated either. Positive thoughts are as essential to your mental well being as food is to your physical survival.
NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at
or write him c/o this paper. 2012 Bryan Golden