Several years ago I decided to start repelling negativity. I realised it never solves anything and that if I ever thought I could solve anything through negativity I was buying into an illusion. It shifted my outlook on life dramatically. I began to contemplate the roots of negativity by enquiring into why it occurred and what lead me to think negative thoughts. I looked at how negativity becomes a habit; how beliefs and opinions can result in programmed reactions and how often negativity was a learned response.

I began to take responsibility for what I was thinking and what I allowed in. I chose to drop fiction, reduce television and newspaper reading and focus on positive literature. It fascinated me how reactions can be triggered. I considered how I might have felt not having read or seen what caused the reaction.

Whenever negativity arose I discovered I was defending an illusion or making a conscious choice to be offended and yet even with this knowledge negativity can still arise. There is no magic wand. I found reading uplifting and inspiring books and quotes changed my outlook dramatically and often in an instant. A few lines or a short quote or affirmation has incredible transformational power.

Returning to the present moment helps wipe the slate clean of past negativity. By letting go I could be more positive and focus on what really matters. The challenge is to close the gap between recognising negativity and shifting to positive. When ready, letting go can happen instantly; you can be in the same minute and everything changes. In a split second flash negativity about anything in the past can drop away whether 20 years ago, 1 year ago, 1 week ago, 1 day ago or 1 minute ago. The smaller the gap the better! Living in the present moment means being willing to die to the past in every moment.

Dropping the past can be a challenge; moving on can be difficult yet to constantly relive negativity is like biting into a rotten apple and moaning about the day you bit into a rotten apple over and over again. Attaching to the past is an illusion – the past has gone. You can only attach to a thought of the past in the present moment. So you could say that you are attaching to a thought rather than something that happened in the past. Although you cannot change your past – you can change your thoughts about it.

One of the problems I feel we face as humans is believing happiness and unhappiness, positive and negative are switches we can flick on or off permanently. We buy into an illusion that you can be 100% positive and happy all the time. That puts pressure on you to “perform” rather than “feel”.

I think the real key is awareness – recognising how and why you feel like you do and why you are having the thoughts you are thinking. Often by uprooting question after question you can trace “problems” to illusions.

Negative thoughts can leave you feeling drained and unhappy and have been said to have an adverse affect on your health. What I have found is that by reading uplifting and inspiring books and quotes on a daily basis positive thinking is far more powerful than negative. What I also noticed is that if I am the one reading the uplifting ideas – I am also the one making the changes. If you are willing to change you can. You don’t fail if you take a step backward.

A great tip for seeing the positive is to review your day last thing at night and contemplate where improvements could have been made.

In summary here are 11 pointers for positive thinking:

1. Recognise negative thoughts and the triggers causing them and remember mood fluctuations are temporary.

2. Through awareness focus on the positive and choose to repel negativity.

3. Read uplifting and inspiring books and quotes daily.

4. Watch inspiring movies and listen to uplifting and peaceful music.

5. Practice meditation and silent watching meditation daily.

6. Reduce thinking, let go of your past and come back to the present moment.

7. Write or mind map all negativity and start exploring reality versus illusion. Consider keeping a daily journal.

8. Begin helping others more and see what a transformation in yourself there is when you help to make others happier. (Remember only you can change you – so that goes for others too; which also means increasing your patience levels)

9. Reduce incoming negativity by eradicating triggers and pay more attention to the words and thoughts you are using.

10. Take responsibility for controlling your negative thoughts and reactions and if within your power make positive changes.

11. Live the Gandhi quote and “Be the change you wish to see in the world”

Related themes:

A to Z of Positive Thinking

A to Z of Positive Words

Dealing with a Negative Thought Mind Map

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