As promised in today’s Proverbs 31 devotion, leave a comment below sharing which one of these tips you are going to implement in your life, and enter to win a free book of your choice from my bookstore!
Keeping a check on my thought patterns and how they are affecting my psyche and outlook is something I learned to do years ago.
The reality is that when the situations of life don’t “feel” positive, it’s often hard to think positive. But fortunately, it’s not impossible.
Being a positive thinker doesn’t mean living with a Pollyanna / rose colored glasses mentality. It simply means choosing to intentionally look for the best in things, and find reasons to be positive, rather than intentionally or even inadvertently focusing on the negative aspects of people, life and situations.
We can’t control our circumstances, but we can always control our thoughts about them. And when we change the way we think, we in turn change the way feel and live. Proverbs 23:7 says “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (NKJV) Our thoughts determine who we are and how we live our life.
If you struggle with chronic negativity or pessimism, even if you have lots of reasons to justify that attitude, or if you feel like you’ve always been a negative person and think it’s impossible to change, might you consider incorporating a few of these tips into your everyday routines?
When you invite God to start helping you change the way you think, you’ll notice your perspective and outlook and the way you feel inside will begin changing too. A happier life with more peace, joy and happiness – despite the adversities of life – could be as close as one positive thought away.
1. Express gratitude. Ask God to help you live with an awareness of your blessings. Notice the little things that bring a flutter of joy to your heart – a butterfly, a streak of warm sunshine, the laughter of your child, a hug from a loved one. Try to focus on the things you have, rather than the things don’t have.
2. Look for beauty. Life can be ugly, and at times we get so caught up “seeing” the ugly, we neglect to notice the beauty around us. Take time to really look out the window as you drive today. Notice the blue sky, the green trees, the bunny hopping across the field. Smell the flowers, savor the aroma of dinner on the stove, and feel the softness of your baby’s hair. Beauty is all around us in a million different forms, if only we choose to not overlook it and miss out.
3. Don’t get caught in the comparison trap because doing so not only feeds your insecurities, but because comparison is the thief of joy. You are you, and God made you unique in every way; gifted with abilities, traits and talents that nobody else has. Rather than focusing on how you don’t feel you measure up in some way, most likely against some standard you were never meant to meet, focus on your positive attributes alone.
4. Don’t overthink problems. The more we overthink a problem – letting our imaginations run wild with worry and fear and stress – the bigger those problems become. Instead of thinking the worst, try to think the best. Instead of focusing on the negatives of a situation, try to think of some positives that might come out of it. If you’re to overthink be overly positive. A little too much optimism never hurt anyone.
5. Change the way you typically think by asking God to help you begin recognizing each negative thought that pops into your mind, reject that thought, and then think of a more positive true thought instead. Simply put, cultivate optimism in your patterns of thinking. Instead of seeing the glass half empty, intentionally tell yourself to see the glass half full. If you tend to think the worst when a problem arises, intentionally decide you are not going to do that, and try to think of the best case potential scenario instead. Making these practices a habit in your everyday life helps foster an amazing transformation in your brain and thought patterns.
6. Invite God to be a part of your day, your life and your mind makeover transformation. When we ask for His intervention in our hearts and minds, we open the door for Him to begin an work in us that we could never accomplish on our own. Through His strength and perseverance, we can overcome the pull towards negative thinking and retrain our minds to think optimistic, instead of pessimistic. After a few weeks of implementing practical thought control and intentional efforts to be positive, new habits will form are good for us and our lives!
Think positive, be positive, live positive.