The Key to a Happier Life – Positive Thoughts
Every day thousands of thoughts roll through your head. Some are negative and some are positive, depending on your personality and outlook on life. In pessimistic people up to 80 percent of these thoughts are negative, in other words, they are associated with such things as fear, anxiety, hate, depression and worry. And, as you might expect, this makes them unhappy most of the time. In a few people, on the other hand, these thoughts are mostly positive, and it’s easy to see from the looks on their faces that they are relatively happy. That’s not to say that they never have problems and are happy almost all the time.
Everyone has problems, but optimistic people know how to handle them, and don’t let negativity rule their lives. And as a result, they live much happier lives. The key, then, to living a longer and happier life is in controlling your thoughts.
Happy, optimistic people are not immune to negative thoughts. As with almost everybody, they crop up continuously and try to crowd their way in, and push out happy thoughts, but optimistic people make it as difficult as possible for them to get in. If you want to be happier you have to learn how to deal with negative thoughts, and as I’m sure that you know, they come in many forms.
Fear that you might lose your job, fear of getting sick or coming down with a serious disease, depression because life is so boring, anxiety because you can’t seem to get anything done, anxiety because you’re getting old, an old grievance against someone you once liked, are only a few examples of negative thoughts. Dwell on them too long and you’ll soon feel miserable and may end up sick. And of course, no one really wants that.
The key to a longer, healthier and happier life is to get rid of these thoughts. You can do it for a short time by letting your mind go blank – in other words, thinking about nothing. This will help, but it won’t work for long. Thoughts of some type will soon creep in to fill the vacuum, and if you’re not careful, some – even, most – of them will again be negative. What you have to do as quickly as possible is fill your mind with positive thoughts. To do this, you must have a stockpile of them ready. For this you should begin by thinking about all the good things in your life. Write them down. A few examples are:
- Your goals. Make sure you have some. They are particularly important for success in life. If you’ve never made a list, do it now.
- Your family. In particular, your spouse and children, but brothers and sister are also important.
- Your health. This may be something that is driving your negative thoughts, but remember that it could always be worse. Think about how lucky you are that is as good as it is.
- Your friends. Think about their smiling faces and what they mean to you. This will always bring a smile to your face.
- All the things you have. Some examples are; a car, a beautiful house, a beautiful yard, pets and lots of other things
- Your talents and abilities. Think about how lucky you are to have some of the talents and abilities that you have. Everybody has things that few other people have.
- Your youth (assuming you have it). This may not seem like much to you, but ask an 80-years old how important it is and you may get an earful.
- How lucky you are, in general.
These are your defense against negative thoughts, so think seriously about them and memorize the list you make up. Deposit them in your memory “bank.” Then, each time you have a negative thought, make a withdrawal. Bring one of these positive thoughts into your mind, and since it’s impossible to think of two things at once, it will crowd out any negative thought that might be there. It might seem that this is a lot of trouble to go to every time you have a negative thought, but if you practise it for a while it will soon become second nature, and you won’t have to think about it – it will be automatic. And in the long it will make you much happier.
Barry Parker is a professor emeritus (physics) at Idaho State University. He is the author of 25 books on science, health, writing, and music. His website is BarryParkerbooks.com and he has several blogs, one of them is at Barrysbuzz123.blogspot.com. He has done research in biophysics (mutations in the DNA molecule) and in relativity theory (Einstein’s field theory), has a strong interest in health and fitness, self-improvement, and in music (particularly piano). He taught a writing class at ISU for several years. One of his recent books is “Feel Great Feel Alive.”