How we empower ourselves...
Over the past few years especially, I've felt very lucky and grateful to live in Canada. There's so much peace and many freedoms here that are easy to take for granted in the day-to-day hum of life.
That said, there's something happening today in the U.S. that I'd like to adopt for myself, and for everyone else: it's Positive Thinking Day.
There're few things more powerful than recognizing our thoughts and improving them. So many of us get lost in thinking that we don't even realize it's an activity we're engaged in. It's as if we're at the mercy of our minds, receiving incoming thoughts, without any power to do anything about it.
The truth is, we can change our thoughts. If we're telling ourselves negative things about ourselves or things around us, just noticing that this is occurring is a positive first step toward change.
We can examine our thoughts by asking ourselves questions. In fact, this is what Byron Katie did when she turned her whole life around for the better. She created a practice about this process called 'The Work' and offers a free worksheet on her website for others to use.
Over the past decade or so, there's been an enormous amount of research, work, and media attention devoted to the field of positive psychology. Whereas in the past much attention went to problems and how to solve them, many people are now turning to happiness, resilience, and the study of positive emotions and experiences. After all, when asked what we want from life, so many people say they just want to be happy.
That said, positive thinking isn't the same thing as being happy all the time. As human beings, our lives provide us with opportunities to experience the full gamut of emotions, and it's appropriate to do so.
Positive thinking is more of a practice or habit that anyone can develop. It's a choice in how we interpret our thoughts and experiences.
Positive thinking is about trying to replace negative self-talk with more positive messages, and having a positive, optimistic attitude.
There're many exercises out there to try. I've tried several myself: writing down my thoughts, thinking of things I'm grateful for, and practicing self-compassion.
An interesting thing about positive thinking is that the teachings are about empowering ourselves. Yet, the results of this work benefit those around us, too. Just think of the people whom you enjoy spending time with the most. Chances are, they're people who demonstrate warmth, positivity, and the ability to forgive themselves and others.
We hope you get a chance today to enjoy some positive thoughts - about yourself, those around you, and anything else that brings you joy.