One thing I constantly struggle with is positive thinking. Not that I am a "Negative Nancy" by any means, but that most the time I am on the dark side of the moon. I don't expect much from people, that way I'm not disappointed. I assume everyone constantly lies, that way I'm not as hurt when the truth comes out. If you can tell, this is mostly a protection method I have acquired.
I do believe in second chances and that people have the potential to change, I just think most take the easy way out and keeps things the way they are.
Recently, I tried a type of therapeutic massage called Reiki. The general idea of Reiki is to change the life force energy in your body. It is a type of spiritual healing and self-improvement. I did this primarily for my pregnancy, I felt that I needed to take away the overwhelming stress I had been carrying around. After my session I felt incredible! So much so, that when I got home and tried to explain it to my husband he looked a little concerned due to the drastic change in my mood.
I decided that day that I want to live a more positive lifestyle. Not just for my own good, but for my son's. I didn't want him to live on the dark side of the moon, I want him to shine in the sunlight.
So here are a few ways I have started to change my outlook on life to decrease my skepticism and increase my peace of heart.
- Begin With A Positive. I have a horrible tendency to have the first word to any response I give be, "No." I'm not trying to be rude about it, because nine times out of ten I am actually intrigued by what the other person is telling me. It is just this awful thing I picked up at some point in life and mindlessly say. Instead, I try to say "oh yea" or "that's interesting" to validate that I am listening and do care. Though I will say this is a very hard habit to beak, thank goodness for my husband who will (gladly) call me out.
- Think Five Positive Thoughts. This is something I enjoy doing first thing in the morning. It is generally hard for me to get out of bed, so I tend to linger. While this is happening I think of five positive things. It could be anything really. Sometimes they are things I would like to accomplish, things to be thankful for, things that were great the day before. It truly doesn't matter what they are just as long as they are five GOOD things.
- Saying Thank You. This may seem like an obvious thing to do, but think of all the small things that are done for you in a day that go unappreciated. Today an elderly gentleman held the door open for me. Then a lady who was mid conversation with her friend stopped to ask me what floor I was going to on the elevator. These were just small things. These people went out of their way for me, a complete stranger. It would be so easy to nod and smile as they did them, but to say thank you I know made them feel appreciated for their small acts of kindness.
- Smile. You may not always be in the mood to smile, but do it anyway. This past week has been such a joy and a challenge for me. There have been so many times I didn't want to smile, but I was around people so I did it anyway because I didn't want them to know I was upset. Even though my fake smile was done out of selfish purposes, it eventually led to real ones. Smiling even though I didn't want to pushed me outside of my comfort zone and let in the possibility of something good to happen.
These may not be massive, eye opening motivations for everyone, but they are small virtues that are easy to try everyday.