Changing my mindset from negative to positive was the best thing i ever did. It’s so easy and it makes life so much better. Even on the bad days, you’ve just got to remind yourself that the day will end and tomorrow is a new day. When you start being positive, everyone around you will be too, it’s contagious. Just try for one day, then one week you shall see. Enlarge the positive and minimize the negative. Remember that the only place happiness can come from is yourself.

Why pessemism can be good for you

Klint Finley

The Atlantic interviews Julie Norem, a psychology professor at Wellesley College and author of The Positive Power Of Negative Thinking:

Olga Khazan: What is defensive pessimism?

Julie Norem: It’s a strategy for dealing with anxiety and helping to manage anxiety so that it doesn’t negatively influence performance. If you feel anxious in a situation, it doesn’t really matter if it’s realistic or not, you feel how you feel. It’s hard not to feel that particular way. If you feel anxious, you need to do something about it. Usually people try to run away from whatever situation makes you anxious. But there are other ways of dealing with it. Defensive pessimism is one way.

When people are being defensively pessimistic, they set low expectations, but then they take the next step which is to think through in concrete and vivid ways what exactly might go wrong. What we’ve seen in the research is if they do this in a specific, vivid way, it helps them plan to avoid the disaster. They end up performing better than if they didn’t use the strategy. It helps them direct their anxiety toward productive activity.

Full Story:

(via NextDraft)

See also: The Powerlessness of Positive Thinking

8 Powerful Steps to Positive Thinking

1. Always focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want: The mistake that most of us make when having a problem is to talk about it over and over again instead of focusing on the end result, instead of focusing on what we want to achieve.
2. Know that every problem comes with a lesson: There is always a lesson in everything that happens to us, and we should constantly look for what that lesson is and master it. For as Confucius said: “If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake.”
3. Don’t believe everything you think: Our problems aren’t as big as the mind is trying to convince us, and if you choose to believe every negative though that goes through your mind, you will always get in trouble. Observe your mind, observe your thoughts, but don’t identify yourself with them. Go beyond them.
4. Choose to express your gratitude for everything that happens to you, whether good or bad, and also for every person you interact with: The more you choose to express your gratitude, the more reasons you will have to express your gratitude for, and when you’re too busy focusing on the many things that you are grateful for, there will be no more room left for stress and worry.
5. Know that there is a reason for everything: Everything that happens to you, happens for a reason and every person that enters your life enters for a reason, and it’s your responsibility to act upon this knowing and not to label them as being good or bad, negative or positive, etc.
6. Let go of your need for perfection: When you try to do everything perfect, you will meet with stress and frustration – as it’s impossible to be perfect in everything you do.
7. Let go of your resistance: Accept things as they are without you trying to change them, without trying to fight against them. Go with the flow, and know that life wasn’t meant to be a struggle all the time.
8. Learn to be present in everything you do: When you become present and really engaged in the now, your whole life will become so much easier.
Source: (Abridged)

So my school's headteacher finally decided to ask a student how they were feeling.

She asked a year eight how often she worries about school, the girl replied “I cry myself to sleep nearly every night”. The girl is about 12 years old.

She will not sit a formal exam for 3 years and yet she is already terrified. 

Year 10s were asked what they would like to do for their enrichment; an afternoon a fortnight where students are taught life skills. Nearly every one asked for stress relief techniques and tips on how to be happy.

Schools spend so much time telling students they have to pass exams and that failure in school means failure in life. It’s at a point where students are so overwhelmed that they no longer know how to express themselves or relax.

Kids can’t be kids anymore, they are too caught up in the future to actually enjoy the present and that needs to change pronto. 

Positive Thinking Tips

1. Be grateful for what you have. Too often we think about what we don’t have, or how we’ve been hurt, or what’s gone wrong. But there are even more things to be thankful for.

2. Believe you have what it takes to succeed. Don’t give up on yourself when you do something stupid or you meet some obstacle that interrupts your plans. You’re still in control of your destiny.

3. Write your negative thoughts down on a piece of paper then tear it into pieces or burn the list. Now, write a long list of personal affirmations and decide to read through this several times a day.

4. Recognise and avoid all the negative people who’ll wear you down or knock you off your path. Often whiners and complainers are never going to change – so minimize the time you spend with them.

5. Identify and hang out with positive people who see life as a gift to be treasured and enjoyed. These are the people who see the good in others, and offer encouragement to everyone they meet.

“What is the most difficult thing for you right now?”
“There’s nothing particularly difficult for me. If you think something is difficult then it really will become difficult.”

“지금 본인을 가장 힘들게 하는 건 뭔가요?”
“가장 힘든 거 같은 건 없어요. 힘들다고 생각하면 정말 힘들어지잖아요.”

(( Over the last year, I have had a lot of eye opening experiences and personal conflicts that I’ve had to deal with, some self inflicted and others inflicted upon me, and I’d like to, for a moment, address a few observations I’ve had, and a few lessons learned.

It is amazing to me that someone can receive countless positive and uplifting compliments, and yet the second another human being throws a negative or degrading comment in their direction, all of the positivity vanishes. All of the confidence flies away.

Why spend your life and energy paying heed to the negative, when it will literally do nothing for you? Dragging yourself down will not help you progress in life. It will not lead you to better things, it will limit you. It is nothing but fear. Fear that you will not fit in, fear of what others will say, fear that you can’t achieve something, fear that you are not good enough, fear that you will fail. No one can tear you down but you. Words are nothing but words, it’s you that puts the power in those words.

Why spend your time and energy putting out negativity, dragging others down, when it will literally lead to nothing. If you have felt agony, if you have dealt with any form of unwarranted cruelty, why would you carry on the acts that have hurt you so much, knowing the pain it causes? You will not have improved your situation… you will not have improved the lives of others. You will not feel better. You do not have to follow in the footsteps of your tormentors. You can do what others didn’t do for you, you can rise above the circumstances of your situation and become better.

Why not spend your precious time here, in this life that we’re all living together, loving and accepting others, no matter their background, their culture, their faith, their lack of faith, their preferences, their looks, their anything.

Why not look at each individual as just that, an individual. Do not categorize, do not judge, do not force yourself or others to fit into the stereotypes society has set, because no one can fit into another person’s mold.

You are unique. No one is like you. No one understands you the way you do, and no one should have the power to make you feel like less then you are, which is incredible.

And if no one has the right to do that to you, you do not have the right to do that to anyone else. Do not say hateful things, do not respond to hate with cruelty or anger, do not let insecurities cause you to hurt those around you. Do not tear others down for a cause, even a just cause, when you can lift everyone up instead.

No one knows, truly, what the people around us are going through. No one can truly empathize with another person, because everyone has varying life experiences under their belts, and everyone views the world differently. No one can empathize, but we can sympathize. We can relate, we can find common ground, we can help each other. 

I am not a religious person, but I believe in basic human decency, and I also believe that in spite of all the negativity that is present in our society, all of the fighting and politics and pessimism in our media and images, all of the crimes and internal conflicts amongst families and friends… in spite of all of that… most people are good, wonderful people. If we just took time to strip away our judgments and fear, we might be able to see the good in the world around us.

Listen when people compliment you. Don’t shrug it off and throw it aside. Say thank you. Take it in, see yourself through someone else’s eyes. Negativity is a habit, so is positivity, and you can fall into the same degrading patterns, or you can lift yourself out of it.

Wake up in the morning, look at yourself in the mirror, find all the things you love about yourself, and repeat it over and over again. Throw everything else aside, don’t listen to any of the nagging voices trying to drag you down. They don’t matter.

Tell the people around you how amazing they are. Tell them how talented, beautiful, and meaningful they are, because everyone matters. Everyone is important. Everyone has a purpose.

We all have our own struggles and realities, and if more people spent time helping themselves and the people around them create a positive and loving reality, we would be limitless. ))