The way we think about ourselves, our life and the events in it, is extremely powerful. Bad things happen to everyone and we sometimes can’t control this. But the way we think about a negative event could change its effect on us. After something goes wrong it can be easy to think ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘It won’t get any better’. But this negative attitude can lead people to think that they can’t change their situation. To continue thinking negatively will make people remain in a low mood and stop them from trying to change their situation. Remember, you are the place where change starts so having a positive attitude to the future will help you make the most out of a difficult situation.
YOU CAN LOOK AT THE SAME SITUATION IN DIFFERENT WAYS: AND THAT WILL CHANGE THE OUTCOME!
Let’s look at an example of two people: Koku and Kofi. Koku and Kofi live in two very similar communities and both work in a bicycle repair shop. One day, Koku and Kofi both lose their jobs. They are both upset and worried about what will happen now. Koku thinks he is a failure and will never get such a good job again. He stays home for weeks because he doesn’t see the point in searching for a job he thinks won’t get. The result is that his family struggle to provide for themselves. Not far away, Kofi returns home. He is sad but knows that he was good at his job and has the skills he needs to get another job. He goes out the next day searching for work, and finds it in the next community. Both men were in the same situation, but how they thought about their situation affected the impact on their lives.
ANYBODY CAN ACHIEVE A POSITIVE MINDSET: ALL IT TAKES IS A LITTLE PRACTICE
You may think: that’s fine for people who can naturally think that way! But actually anyone can become a positive thinker like Kofi; you just need to practice. Everyone has negative thoughts such as ‘I can’t do this’, or ‘It’s just too hard’, but being aware of them can help you to start changing them. A healthier thought might be: ‘this is tough, but if try really hard it will get easier’. The more you practice catching your negative thoughts and trying to change them into more positive ones, the easier it will become.
Our daily routine happens naturally and we don’t even have to think about; it can even be difficult to break. It’s the same with the way we think, at the start it might be a bit of effort and we’ll have to remind ourselves constantly, ‘think of the positives!’ or ‘I can do this!’. But with time our mind will naturally become more positive. That’s when you might see an increase in your happiness. Writing down or even just thinking of three things that you are grateful for at the end of the day is an easy way to make positive thinking a part of your day.
IT WAS THOUGHT TO BE IMPOSSIBLE, UNTIL YOU TRIED AND ACHIEVED IT
But creating a positive mind leads to more than just happiness. As we saw with Kofi and Koku, our thoughts often guide what we do. If we think we can’t do it, we simply won’t try. So if we change our attitude to a problem, our behaviour often changes too! This power of positive thinking has been shown in lots of different ways.
One important example is in education. By changing thinking from ‘I’m no good at maths’ to ‘I may find it hard now but I’ll get better at it’ people actually begin to do better! If you believe that you can improve then you will make the effort to try. And it’s not just in education. Before a race, athletes often imagine themselves winning and this actually makes it more likely they will win. So when you have a hard day ahead, try to imagine yourself at the end of it, having done everything you wanted to and how grateful and happy you will feel having done so. And just like these athletes, you will be surprised to see how effective it is.
Positive thinking doesn’t mean you should ignore negative things in your life or never be sad or stressed. You should never force yourself to be happy and cheerful all the time, since after all we are just humans and we all have bad days. But a positive attitude does mean that instead of these problems becoming overwhelming, you will be better able to face them.